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World Year of Physics comes to Case, with celebration of Einstein's Legacy: Culture, Science and Technology in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Physics

As part of the United Nation's World Year of Physics celebration in 2005, Case Western Reserve University will present "Einstein's Legacy: Culture, Science and Technology in the 20th and 21st Centuries," on Monday, November 14, at 12:30 p.m. in Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Avenue.

Case joins universities around the world to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the "miracle year" 1905 in which Albert Einstein wrote five seminal papers that have changed our thinking of space and time and the Universe.

Case also has its own special reasons to celebrate physics. American Institute of Physics will recognize the significance of Case's Rockefeller Building, home to physics, with the special designation on the building's 100th anniversary as a World Year of Physics International Historical Site. The designation honors the famous Michelson-Morley experiment that provided the groundwork to Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.

The campus-wide celebration centers around a major event at Severance Hall at 12:30 p.m. NPR Talk of the Nation Science Friday host Ira Flatow will moderate a panel discussion by guest speakers Walter Isaacson, the bestselling author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, president of the Aspen Institute and former chair and CEO of CNN; Lawrence Krauss, Case's Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics and Astronomy and the author of the new book, Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions from Plato to String Theory and Beyond and seven other popular science books including The Physics of Star Trek; Harold Varmus, president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, former director of the National Institutes of Health and 1989 Nobel Laureate in Medicine; and Frank Wilczek, the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at MIT, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics and the co-author of the popular book, Longing for the Harmonies. For those unable to attend, the free public event will be webcast around the country.

Panelists will answer questions from first-year students from Case's signature undergraduate program SAGES (Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship) and from the audience.

Beginning at 2 p.m., and again at 3:30 p.m., panelists will make individual presentations related to the celebration's theme of Einstein's contributions to science. At the conclusion of the event at Severance, a reception and book signings will follow.

The World Year of Physics at Case is sponsored by the physics department in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences, the Case Alumni Association, the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics (CERCA) and the School of Medicine.

In conjunction with the World Year of the Physics and the anniversary of the Rockefeller Building, Case will sponsor a national contest to name the top 27 physicists of the 20th century. Eventually these names will complement the 21 names of physicists that have been engraved on the Italian Renaissance-style exterior of the Rockefeller Building.

"Our building has the names of many physicists carved above the windows in 1905. We thought it would be fun to celebrate WYOP 2005 by adding the names of 20th century physicists," said William Fickinger, professor emeritus of physics. High school and college teachers and students are asked to participate. The contest deadline is midnight, December 31, with winners named in January. A website will be announced during the campus celebration that outlines contest rules and provides an entry form.

Past physicists recognized on the Rockfeller's west face are Rowland, Fresnel, Chladni, Galileo, Achimedes, Newton, Huyghens, Carnot, Helmholtze, Maxwell; north face-Henry Koenig, Kepler, Kelvin, Arago, Fraunhofer, Joule; on the east face-Ohm, Frizeau, Oersted, Young, Stokes, Regnault, Verdet, Gilbert, Pascal, Ampere, Wheatstone; and on the south side, covered by a 1959 addition-Boyle, Faraday, Foucault, Franklin, Volta, Mersenne and Hertz. The building was a gift from John D. Rockefeller.

World Year of Physics at Case is free and open to the public, but registration is required by visiting http://www.case.edu/events/physics/. For information, call 216.368.2417

 

About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work. http://www.case.edu.