Nobel Prize winner Wolfgang Ketterle on the coldest matter in the universe


Renowned physicist to discuss “new doorway into the world of quantum mechanics” at McGill’s 2007 Anna I. MacPherson Lecture in Physics

McGill University is proud to announce that eminent physicist Wolfgang Ketterle will be delivering McGill’s 2007 Anna I. MacPherson Lecture in Physics titled: “Bose-Einstein Condensates: The Coldest Matter in the Universe.” Prof. Ketterle will speak on Thursday, March 1st, 2007, at 6 p.m. at McGill’s Leacock Building, 855 Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, Room 132.

Wolfgang Ketterle has been the John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 1998. He leads a research group exploring the properties of ultracold gasses and new forms of matter. In 2001 he was awarded a Nobel Prize for observation of Bose-Einstein condensation in a gas in 1995 and the first realization of an atom laser in 1997.

Professor Ketterle’s lecture will explain what happens when a gas is cooled to absolute zero. It becomes a Bose-Einstein Condensate, a new doorway into the world of quantum mechanics. All the atoms in a Bose-Einstein Condensate start marching in lockstep and form one giant matter wave, a phenomenon predicted by Einstein in 1925, but only realized in 1995 in laboratories at Boulder and at MIT. Since then, many properties of this mysterious form of matter have been revealed. Professor Ketterle’s lecture will link basic concepts of quantum mechanics with today’s research, and discuss the sophisticated techniques used to cool and manipulate matter at ultracold, nanokelvin temperatures.

The Anna I. MacPherson Lecture in Physics is presented annually by McGill University’s Department of Physics. It is named in honour of the late Anna I. MacPherson – one of the University’s first female graduates – and later professor – in physics. The lecture series is funded in large part by a substantial bequest left to the department upon her death in 1979. The mandate of these lectures is to bring distinguished physicists to the department to give two lectures – one public, one scientific – and to meet with staff and students.

Contact Information

Mark Shainblum
Faculty of Science, McGill University
mark.shainblum [at]
Office Phone: