Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Atomic clocks as exploration tool subject of June 3 Weinberg Lecture

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 28, 1998 — Dr. Norman Ramsey, Higgins Professor of Physics at Harvard University, will present the 1998 Weinberg Lecture "Exploring the Universe With Atomic Clocks" at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 3, at Wigner Auditorium, Building 4500N.

The most accurate physical measurements of time and frequency are made with atomic clocks. Such clocks are effectively used in exploring the universe, testing fundamental physical laws and in other applications.

Ramsey's experimental work during more than 50 years has ranged from molecular beams to particle physics, and has concentrated on precision measurements of the electric and magnetic properties of atoms and molecules.

Ramsey earned the 1989 Nobel Prize in physics for his development of the separated oscillatory fields method in molecular beams and the atomic hydrogen maser, which was the basis for the world's most stable atomic clock.

Ramsey was chairman in 1977-78 of the Physics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was president in 1978-79 of the American Physical Society. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and has taught and lectured at many colleges and universities across the country. Ramsey has written several books on physics.

He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from Columbia University and similar degrees from Cambridge University in England. He earned a doctorate in 1940 in molecular beam studies from Columbia. Ramsey has taught since 1947 at Harvard.

Members of the public wishing to attend the June 3 lecture should call ORNL's Communications and Public Affairs office at 574-4165.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.