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Saturday Morning Physics to explore structures of nature on Oct. 23
Saturday Morning Physics to explorestructures of nature on Oct. 23October 21, 2004Michele Barrettmibarret@syr.edu
Mark Bowick, a professor in Syracuse University’s physics department and an expert in the physics of fluctuating surfaces, will present his lecture “Soft Matter: Geometry and Materials” as the eighth installment of the physics department’s Saturday Morning Physics program, Oct. 23 at 11 a.m. in Stolkin Auditorium. The lecture, which will include demonstrations designed to help the lay audience understand complex physics concepts, is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question-and-answer period.
Bowick’s introduction to the scintillating field of soft matter is intended for the lay person. His lesson about “squishy matter” is that temperature and geometry can radically influence both the preferred structures of nature and their response to changing conditions. Topics to be addressed include heating polymers, stretching floppy membranes and the exploitation of defects. Bowick will also discuss perfect crystals and the possibility of a new realm of chemistry at the micrometer scale.
Bowick’s research fields are condensed matter theory and particle theory. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 research publications and holds a National Science Foundation research grant. Bowick is currently working on various aspects of random surfaces, the statistical mechanics of membranes, order on curved surfaces and the formation of topological defects in phase transitions.
He has delivered hundreds of invited seminars at conferences and universities around the world and held an Outstanding Junior Investigator Award from the Department of Energy from 1987 to 1994. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand and a doctorate in physics from California Institute of Technology. He began teaching at SU in 1987.
The Saturday Morning Physics program began in 2002 and is designed to share the content and excitement of the physics department’s internationally known scientists and cutting-edge research with the wider Syracuse community.