Roy Glauber: Looking Back on the Nuclear Age and Los Alamos
On July 15, famous American physicist Roy Glauber gave a speech at the Digital October Center. In the early 1940s, when he was just a sophomore at Harvard, he was invited to work on the Manhattan Project.
Glauber, who is currently a professor at Harvard University, discussed his role in nuclear research and the events, doubts, and concerns that went along with it, as well as the difficult decision that was made by scientists at the time.
About the Speaker:
1. In 2005, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with John Hall and Theodor Hänsch. The prize was awarded to them for their contributions to quantum optics. He has also been acknowledged for his work in the field with the Albert Michelson Medal, the Max Born Award, and a number of other prestigious international honors.
2. He received wide-spread recognition and respect for his 1963 publication Quantum Theory of Optical Coherence: in it, Glauber described the behavior and dual nature of light particles, explaining the fundamental difference between hot sources of light (e.g., incandescent lamps) and lasers. With these developments, he laid the foundation for modern optics.
3. After the war, at the personal invitation of Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic bomb”, Glauber worked at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton. He has taught in institutions of higher learning in France and the Netherlands, and has also contributed to the activities of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
4. He serves as “Keeper of the Broom” for the Ig Nobel Prize Committee. During the ceremony, it is Glauber’s job to sweep the paper airplanes off the stage after each winner is announced. In the entire history of the prize, he only shirked his duties once: in 2005, when he was receiving his actual Nobel Prize.