1,000 High School Students to Hear Nobel Laureate Deliver UT Dallas’ Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture

Illinois’ Anthony Leggett to Address ‘Why Can’t Time Run Backwards?’

March 21, 2007

More than 1,000 area high school students will hear Nobel laureate Anthony J. Leggett deliver the 2007 Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture on the campus of The University of Texas at Dallas on Thursday, March 29.  The subject of Leggett’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Why Can’t Time Run Backwards?”

Leggett is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003 for “pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids.”

In his talk, Leggett will discuss the origin of the “arrow,” or direction, of time – what he calls “one of the deepest questions of physics.”

“We all feel that we can remember the past and affect the future, not vice versa, so there is a very clear arrow of time built into our interpretation of our everyday experience,” Leggett said.  “Yet, the fundamental microscopic laws of physics, be they classical or quantum-mechanical, look exactly the same if the direction of time is reversed.”

Leggett promised to “review some relevant considerations, but will not pretend to give a complete answer” to the question posed in the title of his talk.

The address will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the UT Dallas Student Activities Center.  The 1,000 students expected to attend come from a number of Metroplex-area school districts.

At 10 a.m. the following day, Friday, March 30, Leggett will present a second talk in the School of Management’s Davidson Auditorium on “Testing the Limits of Quantum Mechanics:  Motivation, State of Play, Prospects.”  This address, which is also open to members of the public, is designed primarily for audiences with some pre-existing interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics.

For additional information on either event, please contact UT Dallas’ Diana Wilson-Willis at 972-883-4153 or diana.willis@utdallas.edu.

The Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture began in 1971 and has drawn distinguished speakers to the UT Dallas campus every year since.  The lecture honors the memory of a remarkable individual who amassed a sizeable fortune throughout a highly unusual and successful career – first, as an engineer, then as a physician at the Mayo Clinic and finally as a businessman in the oil and banking industries.  Clark’s philanthropic activities have for many decades supported scholarly endeavors at a number of Texas colleges and universities, including the Clark Summer Research Program and the Clark Presidential Scholarship at UT Dallas.

About UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.


Contact Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, jennib@utdallas.edu

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Nobel laureate Anthony J. Leggett

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