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On Friday, Feb. 22, Nobel Laureate Dr. David J. Wineland will offer a public lecture at Tuskegee University on the topic of optical atomic clocks. The lecture, to begin at 9:45 a.m. in the university’s Kellogg Conference Center, is open to the public, and area students, faculty, and members of the scientific community are encouraged to attend. Dr. Channapatna S. Prakash, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will moderate the program.
Wineland’s groundbreaking experimental methods that enable the measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems were honored with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012, which he shared with French physicist Professor Serge Haroche.
Currently, Wineland is the Philip H. Knight distinguished research chair and research professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Oregon in Eugene. His work has included advances in optics, specifically laser cooling trapped ions and using ions for quantum computing operations. His previous group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado, was the first to laser cool ions in 1978. In 1995, they created the first single atom quantum logic gate and were the first to quantum teleport information in massive particles in 2004 (concurrently with a group in Innsbruck, Austria). In 2005, the group implemented the most precise atomic clock using quantum logic on a single aluminum ion.
A long-term goal of his research efforts has been to increase the precision of atomic spectroscopy — the measurement of the frequencies of atoms’ characteristic vibrations. This research has applications to making better atomic clocks, and has led to experiments that enable precise control of atomic energy levels and motion.
Wineland holds a bachelor’s in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s and Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University. Following a postdoctoral position at the University of Washington in Seattle, he served in NIST’s Time and Frequency Division. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and The Optical Society, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1992.
The Nobel physics laureate will be on campus in conjunction with the university's hosting of the 96th Annual Meeting of the Alabama Academy of Science. The Feb. 20-21 meeting is one of the state’s largest gatherings of scientists, researchers, teachers and students across all disciplines. His participation in the conference is made possible through support by The Optical Society and The OSA Foundation.
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