Robert Hofstadter Memorial Lecture 2017

On Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 27 and 28), Stanford’s DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS held the 25th Robert Hofstadter Memorial Lecture, featuring Gerald Gabrielse, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard University. Gabrielse is a leader in the study of antimatter and extremely precise measurements of fundamental particles.

Gerald Gabrielse
Gerald Gabrielse

The lecture is held each year in memory of Nobel laureate Robert Hofstadter, former professor of physics at Stanford. In 1961, Hofstadter was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics “for his pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and for his consequent discoveries concerning the structure of nucleons.” He shared the award with Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer.

This event includes two parts: a public presentation by the invited speaker and an applied physics and physics colloquium. It is all capped off with a reception and dinner.

Gabrielse’s two lectures highlighted his super-preceise comparison of matter and antimatter using trapped antimatter particles and atoms. The precision of the comparisons allows for rigorous testing of the Standard Model, which is a fundamental theory of particle physics that encapsulates our understanding of the relationships between the basic building blocks of matter and forces that act on them.

At the Monday public lecture, Gabrielse presented “Setting Traps for Antimatter.”

On Tuesday at the colloquium, he spoke on the topic, “Probing the Electron to Test the Most Precise Standard Model and Beyond.”

A reception and dinner at the Stanford Faculty Club followed Tuesday’s lecture and included live entertainment by Stanford student musicians.

Gabrielse is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the National Academy of Sciences. Among many prestigious honors, he has been awarded the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize and the Davisson-Germer Prize, both from the APS; Italy’s Tomassoni Prize; Germany’s Humboldt Research Award; and prizes for exceptional teaching and research at Harvard.