Catherine H. Bone Lecture Series

The Catherine H. Bone lecture in chemistry is hosted by the Wilkes University chemistry department and is made possible by the endowments left by Catherine H. Bone, who taught chemistry at Wilkes from 1946-1965.

Previous Lecture

Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe

Oct. 2021
William Daniel Phillips, PhD
Co-Recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics
Joint Quantum Institute, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland
Oct. 20, 2021
Einstein changed the way we think about time. Now, the measurement of time is being revolutionized by the ability to cool a gas of atoms to temperatures millions of times lower than any naturally occurring temperature in the universe. A lively, demonstration-based and down-to-earth presentation about today's hottest (and coolest) science.

William D. Phillips won the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to laser cooling, a technique to slow the movement of gaseous atoms in order to better study them. He shared the honor with Steven Chu and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji.

Several of his innovations in the following years became landmarks in the field. These include a device using a laser along with a magnetic field to decelerate and cool an atomic beam (the “Zeeman slower”); demonstrating the first device that trapped electrically neutral atoms (a magnetic trap); and measuring a temperature far below that predicted by the accepted theory of laser cooling at the time (known as sub-Doppler cooling).

Dr. Phillips was born in Wilkes-Barre and spent his early years in nearby Kingston before his family relocated to the Pittsburgh area and then Harrisburg. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Juniata College and his Doctor of Philosophy in physics from MIT. Since the late seventies, Dr. Phillips has worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a physical sciences laboratory and non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. He is a professor of physics at the University of Maryland.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Phillips received numerous awards including the Albert A. Michaelson Medal from The Franklin Institute in 1996.

About the Bone Lecture Series

  • William Daniel Phillips, PhD (2021)
    • Co-recipient of The 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics; Joint Quantum Institute, The National Institute of Standards and Technology and The University Of Maryland
    • Lecture Topic: "Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe"
  • Dr. Henry J. Pownall (2019)
    • Professor of Biochemistry at Weiss Cornell Medicine and a scientist at Houston Methodist Research Institute
    • Lecture Topic: "Cardioprotection via High Density Lipoprotein Therapy—From Biophysics to Mouse Models"
  • Geraldine Richmond (2018)
    • University of Oregon Presidential Chair in Science, Professor of Chemistry
    • Lecture Topic: "Mulling Over Emulsions: Molecular Assembly at Complex Liquid Surfaces"
  • Dr. Peter J. Stang (2015)
    • University of Utah Distinguished Professor & David P. Gardner Presidential Chair
    • Lecture Topic: “Abiological Self-Assembly: Predesigned Metallacycles and Metallacages via Coordination”
  • William Jorgensen, Ph.D. (2014)
    • Yale University Sterling Professor of Chemistry
    • Lecture Topic: "Computationally Guided Drug Discovery"
  • Dr. Samuel J. Danishefsky (2013)
    • Columbia University Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus; Research Scientist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC)
    • Lecture Topic: "Biologics by Chemical Synthesis"
  • Dr. Roald Hoffmann (2012)
    • Nobel Laureate, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, Writer and Poet
    • Lecture Topic: "The Chemical Imagination at Work in Very Tight Places"
  • Dr. Paul Wender (2011)
    • Stanford University Department of Chemistry, Department of Chemical and Systems Biology; Wilkes University Alumnus (Class of 1969)
    • Lecture Topic: "Molecular Frontiers and Future Transformative Therapies for AIDS, Alzheimer’s and Resistant Cancer (Reflections in and on the light house at Finisterre)"

Bone Lecture Contact

Amy Bradley
Associate Professor of Chemistry




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