Calling his laboratory the “coldest place in the universe,” Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl Wieman presented his research on creating and manipulating Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) to a packed Rosebud Theatre in February.
Dr. Wieman, a physics professor at the University of Colorado, explained that the condensates occur when atoms of certain gases are cooled to the lowest temperatures possible, creating a new state of matter. “Scientists are just beginning to understand the unusual properties exhibited under these conditions,” he said.
Many scientists compare BEC to laser technology and believe that the research will help create sensitive measurement instruments and a new generation of computer chips. It might also be used in the assembly of nanodevices and atomic lasers.
In 1995, Dr. Wieman and his colleagues were the first to create Bose-Einstein condensates, a discovery that earned him the Nobel Prize for physics in 2001.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton told students at an Engineering Week presentation in February that successful engineers must possess keen people skills in addition to being problem-solvers.
“If you don’t like people,” he said, “you shouldn’t be in engineering.”
An industrial engineering graduate of Texas A&M University, Barton has represented Texas’ 6th District, which includes parts of Arlington, since 1984 and currently chairs the House subcommittee on energy and air quality.
“It’s a balancing act between developing coal resources, revitalizing our nuclear option and developing solar and wind power,” he said of the energy markets. “We have what we need here. It’s a matter of using what we have effectively.”
Impromptu exchanges provided some of the funniest moments of comedian Jamie Kennedy’s Texas Hall performance in February.
“Chris Farley has come out of the grave,” he responded to a fan who repeatedly yelled dead-on imitations of the late Saturday Night Live star.
Kennedy’s original material, like his irritation with strangers who reveal personal information, drew laughs as well from the 1,200 audience members.
“I was in a restaurant the other day, and the waitress takes my order and says, ‘I’ve got to tell you something. This isn’t really what I want to do.’ To which I replied: ‘Well, can you at least do it for the next five minutes?’
“Can you imagine if your doctor said that? A doctor sticks a laser in your eye and says, ‘This isn’t what I really want to do. I want to be a dentist.’ ”
Kennedy hosts WB’s Jamie Kennedy Experiment, a modern-day
Candid Camera-like show. His performance was sponsored by EX.C.E.L.