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Events to celebrate World Year of Physics

Princeton NJ -- Several groups at Princeton are planning events to celebrate the World Year of Physics this spring and fall, including lectures and a ceremony to mark the start of a symbolic relay of lights around the world.

The international physics community, with the support of the United Nations, has designated 2005 as the World Year of Physics. The year-long celebration recognizes the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s “Miracle Year” in which he wrote three papers that became the foundations of quantum physics, atomic physics, relativity and cosmology.

Photo of: logo for World Year of Physics

For more information on World Year of Physics activities at Princeton, visit <pupgg. princeton. edu/ www/ jh/ world year of physics/>.

Princeton’s Department of Physics and Department of Astrophysical Sciences are co-sponsoring a series of lectures to celebrate the contributions of physics to the world and the work of Einstein, who was a faculty member at the Institute for Advanced Study and lived in Princeton from 1932 until his death in 1955.

The next lecture in the series will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in McCosh 50 when physicist and author Brian Greene will discuss “The Fabric of the Cosmos” in a talk that is designated the Louis Clark Vanuxem Lecture. Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, is the author of best-selling books “The Elegant Universe” and “The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality.”

Physics events will continue with a special presentation called “Princeton and Einstein’s Legacy” during Reunions weekend. From 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 27, four distinguished Princeton alumni will talk about Einstein’s historic contributions and their profound influence on the current forefronts of science. The event, which will take place in McDonnell A02, will be followed by a reception and is open only to alumni and other members of the University community.

The physics and astrophysics departments will continue a series of public lectures around a similar theme of addressing Einstein’s legacy in the fall, with times and speakers to be announced.

On Monday, April 18, members of the Princeton Society of Physics Students are planning to host an event marking the start of an international effort to send a relay of light signals around the world in 24 hours. The project, called Physics Enlightens the World, was originated by a group of physicists in Austria <www.wyp2005.at/ glob1-light.htm> and involves sending a light signal between an organized series of groups and individuals around the world, starting and ending in Princeton.

Assistant professor of electrical engineering Claire Gmachl is helping to coordinate the event, for which details soon will be announced.