Stanford Scientist to Give University of Virginia's Hoxton Lecture on April 7

April 1, 2011 — Burt Richter, a Nobel Prize-winning Stanford University physicist, will give the University of Virginia's 39th annual Llewellyn G. Hoxton lecture on April 7 at 7 p.m. in the Chemistry Building auditorium (room 402).

The title of his talk is "Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century." Richter is the author of a book by the same title published last year by Cambridge University Press. A reception will follow.

Richter was co-winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics for the 1974 discovery by his Stanford Linear Acceleratory Laboratory team of the J/ψ meson, a sub-atomic particle. He shared the prize with Samuel Ting, a researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory whose team independently discovered the same particle.

Richter's research has centered on experimental particle physics with high-energy electrons and electron-positron colliding beams.

In addition to his Nobel Prize, Richter received the E. O. Lawrence Medal of the Department of Energy in 1976. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society; a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society.

Richter serves on the board of directors of Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government. In the past several years he has turned his attention to the effects of human activity on global climate.

"I have devoted an increasing fraction of my time to international issues," Richter said in an autobiography on the official website of the Nobel Prize. "I am involved with energy, environment and sustainability issues, particularly as they involve new energy sources free of greenhouse gases. Getting enough energy to satisfy the needs of the developing world without bringing on an eco-disaster is not going to be easy. It will require a marriage of science and technology with good international policy, something that is always hard to bring off. We need to get it right this time."

Llewellyn G. Hoxton, for whom the lecture series is named, was a professor of physics in U.Va.'s College of Arts & Sciences and served as department chairman from 1907 to 1948. Throughout those years, Hoxton considered it to be of great importance to convey to students the excitement of new developments in physics. The Hoxton lectures were inaugurated by the Department of Physics in 1971 to share the viewpoints of physicists on topics where their expertise may offer new insights. These free lectures are intended to be interesting and provocative.

For information, call 434-924-3781 or email Dawn Shifflett at dbs5s@virginia.edu.

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