College ushers in the cold weather with a lecture on laser cooling
NEW PALTZ -- The School of Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at New Paltz will continue its 2007-2008 colloquium series at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, in the Coykendall Science Building, with a lecture, titled “The Coldest Temperature in the Universe.”
Harold Metcalf, founder and director of the Metcalf Research Group at SUNY Stony Brook, will be this month’s speaker. Dr. Metcalf will discuss the method of laser cooling that his laboratory has been using to reduce temperatures down very close to absolute zero. As absolute zero is approached, ever more difficult techniques from quantum physics and thermodynamics need to be developed to get even closer. Three different Nobel Prizes in Physics have now been given for these advances, including the 1997 prize for the invention of laser cooling.
“There are many different applications of materials that are artificially cooled below the ambient temperature,” said David Clark, associate dean of science and engineering and colloquium chair. “The discovery of artificially frozen ice for food preservation in 1810 was a major turning point. A hundred years later helium was cooled to a liquid at four degrees above absolute zero and used to produce a metal superconductor. The space age has seen liquid hydrogen and oxygen become our standard rocket fuel. Recently, the low temperature record was broken by a research group who lowered sodium atoms to within a billionth of a degree of absolute zero.”
The lecture will begin at 4 p.m. after a 3:30 p.m. reception in Coykendall Science Building Lounge 110. The public is invited to these colloquia at no charge.
The School of Science and Engineering provides a mathematics, science and engineering focus at the SUNY New Paltz campus. It offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in chemistry, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, environmental science, geology, mathematics and physics.
For more information or directions, call (845) 257-3728 or visit the School of Science and Engineering on the Web at www.newpaltz.edu/sse.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.