William D. Phillips

Distinguished University and College Park Professor of Physics, University of Maryland. NIST Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology

February 10, 2022 — 4:10 PM
Chevron Auditorium, International House — 2299 Piedmont Avenue, UC Berkeley Campus

Add to Google Calendar 02/10/2022 4:10 PM 02/10/2022 6:00 PM America/Los_Angeles A New Measure: The Revolutionary, Quantum Reform of the Modern Metric System

About the lecture The International System of Units (the SI), the modern metric system, has recently undergone its most revolutionary change since its origins during the French Revolution. The nature of this revolution is that all of the base units … Continued

Chevron Auditorium, International House - 2299 Piedmont Avenue, UC Berkeley Campus Berkeley Graduate Lectures lectures@berkeley.edu false MM/DD/YYYY

Physics Department, UC Berkeley

About the lecture

The International System of Units (the SI), the modern metric system, has recently undergone its most revolutionary change since its origins during the French Revolution. The nature of this revolution is that all of the base units of the SI are now defined by fixing values of natural constants. Our measurement system is now, both philosophically and practically, strongly quantum. This talk will describe why this reform was needed and how it is done.

About William D. Phillips

William D. Phillips received a B.S. in physics from Juniata College in 1970, and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976; after two years as a Chaim Weizmann postdoctoral fellow at MIT, he joined NIST (then the National Bureau of Standards) to work on precision electrical measurements and fundamental constants. There, he initiated a new research program to cool atomic gases with laser light. He founded NIST’s Laser Cooling and Trapping Group, and later was a founding member of the Joint Quantum Institute, a cooperative research organization of NIST and the University of Maryland that is devoted to the study of quantum coherent phenomena. His research group has been responsible for developing some of the main techniques now used for laser-cooling and cold-atom experiments in laboratories around the world. 

Dr. Phillips is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Fellow and Honorary Member of the Optical Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a corresponding member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. In 1997, Dr. Phillips shared the Nobel Prize in Physics “for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.”