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Eric Cornell, a 2001 Nobel Laureate in physics, will give two free, public lectures and interact with Lafayette students and faculty during a campus visit tomorrow and Wednesday.

Cornell will speak on “Stone Cold Science: Bose-Einstein Condensation and the Weird World of Physics a Millionth of a Degree from Absolute Zero” 8 p.m. tomorrow in Jaqua Auditorium, Hugel Science Center. He will also talk about “Rotating the Irrotatable: Quantized Vortices in a Super-Gas” noon Wednesday in Gagnon Lecture Hall, Hugel Science Center.

Lafayette students and faculty will interact with Cornell Wednesday at a physics department seminar.

Cornell and Carl E. Wieman received a Nobel Prize for their landmark 1995 creation of the world’s first Bose-Einstein condensate, a new form of matter that occurs at just a few hundred billionths of a degree above absolute zero. The condensate allows scientists to study the extremely small world of quantum physics as if they are looking through a giant magnifying glass. Its creation established a new branch of atomic physics that has provided many scientific discoveries.

Predicted in 1924 by Albert Einstein, who built on the work of Satyendra Nath Bose, the condensate occurs when the wavelengths of individual atoms begin to overlap and behave in identical fashion, forming a “superatom.” The superatom occurs when laboratory apparatus is used to chill a group of atoms to just a few hundred billionths of a degree above absolute zero.

Senior scientist at National Institute of Standards and Technology since 1992, Cornell is adjoint professor of physics at University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a member of National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of The American Physical Society, and a fellow with Optical Society of America, which awarded him the 2000 R. W. Wood Prize.

Cornell also has received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, 1999; Lorentz Medal, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1998; I. I. Rabi Prize in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, American Physical Society, 1997; King Faisal International Prize in Science, 1997; National Science Foundation Alan T. Waterman Award, 1997; Carl Zeiss Award, Ernst Abbe Fund, 1996; Fritz London Prize in Low Temperature Physics, 1996; Department of Commerce Gold Medal, 1996; Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, 1996; Newcomb-Cleveland Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995-96; Samuel Wesley Stratton Award, National Institute of Science and Technology, 1995; Firestone Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, 1985; and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1985-1988.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics (with honor and with distinction) from Stanford University in 1985 and a Ph.D. in physics from MIT in 1990.

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