The Grand Challenges of Fundamental Physics

Gregory S. Adkins, William G. and Elizabeth R. Simeral Professor of Physics 2012 Recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Lecture for Distinguished Teaching Award

Common Hour event series

Thursday, October 18, 2012
11:30 a.m.

The nature of mass is perhaps the central mystery of modern physics. From the microworld, where huge international collaborations are using multi-billion dollar instruments to search for the particle that might impart mass to other particles, to the cosmos, where most of the mass of the universe has an unknown form, to the early universe, where mass and energy were so dense that their quantum nature can not be ignored, the notion of mass is a common thread.

In this talk Professor Adkins will explore some of the main challenges facing modern physics with a focus on what is known and what unknown about mass.

Greg Adkins obtained his B.A. degree summa cum laude with majors in physics and math from UCLA in 1975. In 1981, he earned his Ph.D. from UCLA under the direction of Dr. Nina Byers. His dissertation title was Radiative Corrections to Positronium Decay. He moved to Princeton University as an instructor for the next two years, and has been at Franklin & Marshall since then. While at Princeton, he collaborated with Professors Ed Witten and Chiara Nappi on the "Skyrme" model, in which nucleons such as the proton and neutron are taken to be solutions of the pion field. This collaboration resulted in several publications, one of which is on the SPIRES list of all-time highest-cited articles in high energy physics. His work on the decay rate of positronium resulted in a sharpening of the "orthopositronium lifetime puzzle", which was only resolved in the past few years. Professor Adkins has published over fifty articles on aspects of quantum field theory, positronium, and gravitation. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1998. In 2000, he was awarded the Dewey Prize for research at Franklin & Marshall College, and he now holds the William G. and Elizabeth R. Simeral Professorship at F&M.

This event is open to the public.

Free; no tickets required.

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