William Phillips

At the beginning of the 20th century, Einstein changed the way we think about time. Now, in the early 21st century, timekeeping 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.

Atomic clocks, the finest timepieces ever made, are one of the scientific and technological marvels of modern life. Such highly accurate clocks are essential to industry, commerce, and science; they are at the heart of the Global Positioning System (GPS) that guides cars, planes, and hikers to their destinations. Today, the best primary atomic clocks use ultracold atoms and achieve an accuracy of about one second in 100 million years, while a new generation of atomic clocks, 100 times better, is pushing us to redefine what we mean by time.

Supercold atoms, with temperatures that can be less than a billionth of a degree above absolute zero, are using some of Einstein's strangest predictions and enabling their testing.

Prof. William Daniel Phillips, Ph.D., is one of the foremost pioneers in the field of laser cooling. Together with Steven Chu, who was a guest at the DAI in May 2022, and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.

As part of the International Science Festival - Geist Heidelberg

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Date: 29.11.2022

Time: 20:00


Time, Einstein and the coolest things in the universe

Event type:

Geist Heidelberg Lecture

Prices plus fees
Regular 9,90 €
Reduced 5,90 €
Member 4,90 €