On the 100th anniversary of what physicists refer to as Albert Einstein's "miraculous" year, the University of Utah is joining institutions around the globe to make 2005 the World Year of Physics. The United Nations is encouraging events worldwide.
In 1905, the Swiss patent clerk produced a trio of scientific papers. The first gave a theory on the behavior of light. Einstein's next paper offered an experimental test for the theory of heat. The last paper was the Theory of Special Relativity, which sought a way to connect electromagnetic theory and ordinary motion.
The 1905 work from the wild-haired scientist helped lead the way to lasers, photoelectric cells, LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, as well as the digital era for computers and other electronics, said Pierre Sokolsky, chair of the U.'s physics department.
U.S. physics organizations hope events at the U. and other places raise awareness about the importance of physics in our everyday lives and inspire a new generation of scientists. The U. will feature lectures, a film festival, star parties and even an Einstein look-alike contest.
- Greg Lavine/The Salt Lake Tribune
U. of U. hosts physics film fest and lectures
All screenings, which take place in the U.'s Olpin Union Building, are free. Each night will feature a documentary and a fiction film.
The Einstein Look-Alike Contest takes place during the April 23 screening: l Feb. 19, 7 p.m. to midnight: "Origins" and "2001: A Space Odyssey"
* March 19, 7 p.m. to midnight: "Time Travel" and "Back to the Future"
* April 23, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.: "Einstein Revealed" and "Real Genius"
* Sept. 17, 7 p.m. to midnight: "Elegant Universe (Part One)" and "The Empire Strikes Back"
* Oct. 22, 7 p.m. to midnight: "Elegant Universe (Part Two)" and "Contact"
* Nov. 19, 7 p.m. to midnight: "Countdown to the Invisible Universe" and "Gattaca"
* Dec. 17, 7 p.m. to midnight: "The Best Mind Since Einstein" and "Planet of the Apes"
These are the first in a series of occasional physics lectures at the U., with others to be announced later:
* Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Aline Wilmot Skaggs Biology Building Auditorium: "Addressing Grand Energy Challenges through Advanced Materials." Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Mildred Dresselhaus will review long-term energy challenges and how nanoscience and nanotechnology offer promise in developing sustainable energy supplies.
* Thursday, noon, Marriott Library's Gould Auditorium: MIT's Dresselhaus will conduct a "Mentoring Session: Increasing Opportunities for Women in Science," followed at 2 p.m. by a one-hour reception in the Women's Resource Center, room 293 Olpin Union Building.
World Year of Physics
More information about the World Year of Physics is available at:
http://www.physics2005.org Includes brief history of Einstein, events across the nation and teacher information.
http://www.physics.utah.edu U.'s physics department Web site.
- Sources: World Year of Physics Web site; University of Utah; The New York Public Library Science Desk Reference; "The Nature of Science" by James Trefil