University welcomes Nobel prizewinner Hänsch

Professor Theodor W Hänsch, joint winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics, visits the University of Birmingham today to talk about the scientific breakthrough which led him to share the prestigious award.

The 63-year-old scientist from Munich shared the prize jointly with Professor John L Hall, from the University of Colorado in the US, and Professor Roy J Glauber, of Harvard University.

Professors Hänsch and Hall were honoured for their research into the specific properties of light. They developed a system of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the "optical frequency comb technique", which enables scientists to determine with the utmost accuracy the colour of light contained within atoms and molecules. 

Professor Hänsch visits the School of Physics and Astronomy on Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 March, and the talk takes place at 4pm today on the topic of “A passion for precision”.

Professor Andrew Schofield, of the Theoretical Physics Research Group said:

“The School of Physics and Astronomy is delighted to welcome Professor Ted Hänsch from Munich - the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for physics 2005 - to give the fortnightly School colloquium.  Professor Hänsch's work has been incredibly influential - enabling very accurate measurements of frequency as well as the study of atoms down to temperatures a billionth of a degree above Absolute Zero.

“His interests are shared by physicists in Birmingham who are developing theories of ultra cold atoms as well as experimental physicists developing high precision tests of gravity.”

Professor Hänsch's visit to the School follows that of another Nobel Laureate, Professor Tony Leggett from Illinois, who won the Nobel prize in 2003.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Andy Schofield is Professor of Theoretical Physics within the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Brimingham.

For more information on the talk, visit:

http://www.theory.bham.ac.uk/colloquia06w.htm#haensch

Further information:

Rachel Robson – Press Office, University of Birmingham

Tel: 0121 414 6681 / email: r.a.robson@bham.ac.uk