School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Nobel Laureate to Explain 'Why Can't Time Run Backwards?' To 1,000 DFW Area High School Students

Sir Anthony J. Leggett to Deliver Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture at UT Dallas

Nobel Laureate Sir Anthony James Leggett, Ph.D. will talk to more than 1,000 high school students from science classes around the Metroplex on Thursday, March 29, 2007 at UT Dallas from 12 - 1 p.m.

The co-winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics will deliver the Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture titled “Why Can't Time Run Backwards?” 
(download PDF flyer.)

"We can all tell when a movie of some everyday event is backwards. Similarly we can remember the past and affect the future but not vice versa. There's a clear direction of time built into our interpretation of time. However, the laws of physics look the same if time runs forward or backward. So what is the origin of the 'arrow' of time?"

The talk is open to UT Dallas faculty, staff, as well as interested members of the community.

Dr. Leggett holds the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair and he is also a Center for Advanced Study Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Leggett’s address will take place at the UT Dallas Activities Building, AB 1.2.  Students from Dallas, Richardson, Coppell, Plano, Garland and other local communities will attend.  The high school junior and senior students will arrive on campus early in the morning, and will be given tours of the UT Dallas campus and various research labs, as well as a box-lunch before the lecture.

On Friday, March 30 at 10 a.m. at the School of Management's Davidson Auditorium SOM 1.118, Dr. Leggett will deliver a colloquium-style talk designed primarily for audiences with some interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics. The subject of the lecture is "Testing the limits of quantum mechanics: motivation, state of play, prospects." (download PDF flyer)

"An exploration of the motivation for experiments which attempt to generate and verify the existence of quantum superpositions of two or more states which are by some reasonable criterion “macroscopically” distinct and show that various a priori objections to this program made in the literature are flawed. There will be a review of the extent to which such experiments currently exist in the areas of free-space molecular diffraction, magnetic biomolecules, quantum optics and Josephson devices, and sketch possible future lines of development of the program."

The talk is open to UT Dallas faculty, staff, and students and interested members of the public.

The 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded "for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids" jointly to Dr. Leggett for work concerning superfluidity and to Alexei Abrikosov and Vitaly Ginzburg who developed theories for superconductivity.

Dr. Leggett's appearances at UT Dallas are sponsored by the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. For additional information, please contact at or

The Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture has brought distinguished natural science, mathematics, and engineering lecturers to North Texas high school students every year since 1971.

  • Updated: May 1, 2012