Dr. Hobson Wildenthal
Executive Vice President
Dr. Wildenthal will discuss the research in nuclear physics that he pursued from 1960 through 1990, its relationships to the broader sweep of 20th century discoveries in physics, and the evolution of scientific thought and knowledge over the past two millennia. One topic will be the critical interdependence of apparatus, observation, mathematics, and concept in scientific progress. Another will be how progress in understanding one domain of nature leads to new questions about other domains, and when does one field of research mutate into what is essentially a new field. Another point of discussion will be the historical trend of ever-greater specialization in scientific research and why this oft-decried phenomenon is ever more essential to progress. Yet another is the operational meaning of "understanding."
Dr. Wildenthal's research focused on understanding the phenomena that can be observed when the nuclei of atoms are bombarded with energetic beams of particles, work that started in graduate school at the University of Kansas, continued through post-doctoral work at Rice University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and culminated at Michigan State University, where he served as a member of the faculty of physics and of the MSU Cyclotron Laboratory. These observed phenomena provided clues to understanding the internal structures of atomic nuclei. In turn, accumulating evidence stimulated attempts to "explain" the nature of nuclear states with a conceptual model that provided a consistent and comprehensive mathematical representation of the evidence. Wildenthal's work over thirty years illustrates how a field of research evolves from hazy and crude beginnings through fruitful maturity towards an all-too-soon completion, exhaustion, and mutation.
What is an atom, what is an atomic nucleus, what is the solution to the D5 S1 D3 mystery? The lecture will attempt to answer these and other questions.
Dr. Polykarp Kusch was Nobel laureate in physics in 1955 and came to The University of Texas at Dallas in 1972. At UT Dallas, he was Regental Professor and served on the physics faculty.
His distinguished science career was complemented by his superb teaching. He delighted students with his presentations of physics experiments in his "Phenomena of Nature" classes.
Before coming to UT Dallas, Dr. Kusch had served as professor, vice president, provost and dean of faculties at Columbia University.
When he retired in 1982, UT Dallas established a program of annual lectures with the theme "Concerns of the Lively Mind" to honor Dr. Kusch.
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|2018||Zsuzsanna Ozsváth||Our Journey Home: My Life and Work in Dallas|
|2017||Hobson Wildenthal||The Lifecycle of a Science from Conception to Metamorphosis|
|2016||Suresh P. Sethi||Conflicts in Supply Chains and Contracts that Restore Efficiency|
|2015||R. David Edmunds||Defending the Omaha Nation|
|2014||Ray H. Baughman||Nanotechnology for Fun and Profit|
|2013||Bhavani Thuraisingham||Reactively Adaptive Malware|
|2012||Aage Møller||The Malleable Brain|
|2011||Ram Rao||From Perfection to Retail Competition|
|2010||Rainer Schulte||Life as Translation|
|2009||John Hoffman||The Phoenix Mission to Mars|
|2008||George McMechan||3-D Imaging of Earth's Energy Resources|
|2007||Alice J. O'Toole||How We Represent and Recognize Faces|
|2006||Edward J. Harpham||Adam Smith's Lost World of Gratitude|
|2005||Lawrence J. Overzet||Industrial Plasmas: Enabling the Future|
|2004||Clay Reynolds||A Cow Can Moo: The Irony of the Artistic Lie|
|2003||Roderick A. Heelis||Our Space Environment|
|2002||Rajiv Banker||Pay for Performance: Myth or Reality?|
|2001||Emily Tobey||The Bionic Ear: Connecting Technology to Societal Change|
|2000||Stephen Rabe||Debate Without End: Vietnam - 25 Years After|
|1999||Irving Hoch||Urban Population and the Quality of Life|
|1998||Hanna Ulatowska||Narrative in Human Experience|
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|1996||Hal Sudborough||Permutatios, Pancakes and Philogeny|
|1995||Robert Xavier Rodriguez||The Mystery of the Two Worlds|
|1994||Frank Bass||The Evolution of a General Theory of the Diffusion of Technological Innovations|
|1993||Bert Moore||Passions of the Mind|
|1992||Gerald Scully||Institutional Technology and Economic Progress|
|1991||Brian J. L. Berry||Deeper Societal Structures - Glimpses Through a Macroscope|
|1990||William Hanson||Our Solar System: A Perspective|
|1989||Robert Corrigan||Tragedy - The Tragic, and The Historical Moment|
|1988||Sandy Friel-Patti||The University in the Community|
|1987||R. Chandresakaran||Education of High Quality: Can This be Achieved?|
|1986||Wolfgang Rindler||Gravitation: From Newton to Einstein|
|1985||Anthony Champagne||Science and the Edges of Life|