Carnegie Mellon's Buhl Lecture Features Visionary Stanford Physicist-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Carnegie Mellon's Buhl Lecture Features Visionary Stanford Physicist

Keith Hodgson's Talk Entitled "Brighter Than a Quadrillion Suns: Photon Science in the 21st Century"

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's annual Buhl Lecture will feature Keith Hodgson from Stanford University. His lecture, "Brighter Than a Quadrillion Suns: Photon Science in the 21st Century," begins at 4:30 p.m., Monday, April 10 in the Mellon Institute Auditorium, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Oakland. The talk is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a 5:30 p.m. reception in the Mellon Institute lobby.

According to Hodgson, much of our understanding of the structure and function of objects in the nanoworld — from drugs acting on their biological targets to the behavior of materials as they superconduct electricity — comes from "seeing the invisible." Today's state-of-the-art X-ray sources, called synchrotrons, provide exquisite detail for still pictures, such as the arrangement of atoms in a crystal, but they lack the brightness to investigate matter as it moves around at the atomic scale.

A revolution is in the offing at the end of the decade as the first X-ray-free electron laser comes into operation. Ten billion times brighter than today's sources, X-ray lasers will open up possibilities for research across the sciences, from studying chemistry in real-time to imaging individual biological molecules that underlie the processes of life.

At Stanford since 1973, Hodgson is the Howard H. and Jessie T. Watkins University Professor of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory. He has been a fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and has served on numerous editorial boards and advisory committees, including several terms as chair of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee to the Office of Science of the Department of Energy. In 2002, Hodgson was awarded the E. O. Lawrence Award from the Department of Energy.

The Buhl Lecture, sponsored by Carnegie Mellon's Department of Physics, is funded under the auspices of the Buhl Professorship in Theoretical Physics, which was established at Carnegie Mellon in 1961 by The Buhl Foundation. For more information, contact the Department of Physics at 412-268-6681.

By: Lauren Ward