Director’s Special Colloquium: ‘CP1, science & evolution’
John P. Schiffer, Argonne Distinguished Fellow, will present “CP1, science & evolution” at a Director’s Special Colloquium Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. in the Bldg. 402 Auditorium. All employees whose schedules permit are invited to attend.
This Director’s Special Colloquium is a commemoration of the anniversary of CP1. Refreshments will be served.
Shuttle service will be provided starting at 9:45 a.m. with first stop at 201, then 212, 202, 203, 200, 205 and 362 to building 402. Return trips will follow the talk.
The first half of the 20th century was a unique time of expansion in human understanding of nature, yielding revolutionary new insights. This was especially true in the physical sciences, which saw the birth of atomic and sub-atomic physics. About thirty years after the discovery that atoms had nuclei, less than four years after the discovery of fission, a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated at the University of Chicago, in CP1. This groundbreaking experiment led directly to the founding of Argonne National Lab, not to speak of the Manhattan Project. The era of CP1 was followed by a huge postwar expansion of science and brought about a wave of technical innovation and improvements in human welfare. Some aspects of the period leading up to CP1, a few human elements in achieving it, some of the broader implications of the enormous expansion in all of science that has followed, and speculations on how all this may fit in with the evolution of our species, will be discussed.
John P. Schiffer is an experimental nuclear physicist, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and has served as director and associate director of the Physics Division; at present he is an Argonne Emeritus Scientist. His primary interests have been in the structure of atomic nuclei: their underlying single-particle framework and the effective interactions, with some side interests (the Mossbauer effect, searches for free quarks, crystalline confined plasmas, etc). Schiffer is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is also Professor of Physics emeritus at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from Yale.