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The 2011 Science Nobel Prizes – What were they given for? – Glenn Starkman, Arthur Heuer, and Mansun Sy

Date: Thu. February 9th, 2012, 4:15 pm-5:15 pm
Location: Rockefeller 301

GLENN STARKMAN (Dept. of Physics) will present on the Nobel Prize in Physics: The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to leaders of two collaborations that in 1998 discovered that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. We will review the evidence they presented for that claim, and briefly discuss possible explanations such as dark energy and modifications to the standard theory of gravity and General Relativity.

MAN-SUN SY (Dept. of Pathology) will present on the Nobel Prize in Medicine: Prof. Man-Sun will speak on the three recipients of the Nobel prize in Medicine in 2011. He will provide a little background regarding their original contributions, the progresses in the field since their initial contributions, and whether their discoveries have benefited human health.

ARTHUR HEUER, (Materials Science and Engineering) will present on the Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Danny Schechtman, of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals. This discovery is unusual in three regards: 1) the precise moment of discovery, ~10:00 am on April 8th, 1982, is known; 2) the discovery violated basic tenets of crystallography that were established in the 1850s; and 3) the definition of a crystal used by the International Union of Crystallography had to be changed. These and other aspects of quasicrystals will be discussed.

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