Nobel Laureate To Visit Parkland Middle School

January 7, 2008
Nobel Laureate to Perform "Science of Cold" Demonstrations at Multimedia Event for 800 Parkland Magnet Middle School Students

Event on January 9 Will Show Students the Remarkable Effects of Cold on Everyday Materials

Nobel Laureate William D. Phillips will speak about the science of cold temperatures at 10:00 a.m. on January 9, 2008, to approximately 800 students at Parkland Magnet Middle School for Aerospace Technology in Rockville. The event, which will include live demonstrations, will coincide with the premiere of a two-part national public television science program called "Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold."

Phillips’ talk at Parkland Middle School will discuss the nature of cold, how the properties of everyday materials change drastically at cold temperatures, how these facts relate to his research into ultracold matter, and how that research affects the lives of students and their families. After the talk and demonstrations, he will field questions from the students.

Dr. Phillips will be greeted by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Jerry D. Weast, members of the MCPS Board of Education, and Parkland Acting Principal Ben OuYang.

Airing on January 8 and 15 on the PBS science series NOVA, "Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold" describes how philosophers, scientists and engineers attempted over four centuries to understand the nature of cold and to create the cold-temperature technologies like refrigeration and air conditioning that have transformed society.

Phillips, a resident of Gaithersburg, is a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for his pioneering studies using lasers to cool atoms to temperatures near absolute zero. He served as an advisor to the program’s producers. In addition, Eric Cornell, another NIST physicist, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001 for creating an unusual ultracold form of matter, is featured in part two of the NOVA program.

Parkland provides students in Grades 6 through 8 with a rigorous academic program focused on advanced and applied mathematics and science. Students at the school learn the underlying principals and fundamentals of aerospace science and technology, including the study of astronomy, physics, and robotics.

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