Arthur H. Compton Lecture Series

Autumn 2023

Saturdays September 30 - November 18, 2023 at 11am
Location:  Kersten Physics Teaching Center, 5720 South Ellis Avenue, room 106
The November 4th lecture will be in room 120.

Philipp Windischhofer, UChicago
Grainger Postdoctoral Fellow

How Fundamental Science Has Changed the World:  A Story of Invention and Discovery

The world of today is a magical place. We talk to people on the other side of the planet at the push of a button, we cook our lunch by splitting the cores of heavy atoms, and we treat cancer with subatomic particles moving nearly as fast as light.

In this lecture series, we will explore the origins of the technological marvels of the present. We will see the world through the eyes of the scientists of the past, examine the experiments they conducted and explain the inner workings of the instruments they devised. Watching progress unfold over the centuries, from the nature of heat, to electricity, to the mystery of the atom, we will witness how scientific progress spurred technological innovation, but also how new technologies helped push back the frontiers of knowledge even further.

Wherever we look, we will find examples of the symbiosis between fundamental science and technology, a connection that has not only helped us understand our place in the universe, but that has also given us the power to shape it into a place worth living in.