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Past Guptill Lectures

The E.W. Guptill Memorial Lecture was instituted in 1977 to preserve the legacy of one of the Physics and Atmospheric Science Department's most influential professors and researchers. Each year, the Department invites a professor or researcher from one of the world's leading research institutions to present a lecture in the fall semester. Many of these guest lecturers have been Nobel laureates. The Guptill Lectures afford our students the opportunity to enhance their studies by gaining insight into today's cutting-edge research. 

Guptill Lectures, Past and Present

October 12, 2017 - Dr. Günther Hasinger

Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii

"Black Holes and the Fate of the Universe"

September 25, 2015 - Dr. Paul Corkum

Joint Attosecond Science Lab, University of Ottawa and National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario   

"Forcing a Molecule to Take a Selfie"

November 18, 2014 - Dr. Richard Peltier

Department of Physics, University of Toronto

Global Sea Level: From Ice-Age to Space-Age

March 20, 2014 - Dr. Jonas Zmuidzinas

Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology, CA

The Development of Submillimeter Astronomy

September 21, 2012 - Dr. Alan Robock

Dr. Alan Robock

Climatic Consequences of Nuclear Conflict: Nuclear Winter Still a Threat

Dr. Alan Robock, from the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutger's University, will speak on the impact of nuclear conflict on the atmosphere - and by extension, on
global agriculture.

Read more about Dr. Robock's lecture [PDF]

E.W. Guptill Memorial Lecture Speakers - 1977 to 2011

September 29, 2011 – Dr. Stuart S.P. Parkin

IBM Research Centre, San Jose, California – “The Spin on Electronics! The Science and Technology of Spin Currents in Nano-materials and Nano-devices.”

September 22, 2010 – Dr. Thomas E. Mason

Director, Oak Ridge National Library, and President & CEO, UT-Battelle, LLC – “Powering the 21st Century: Sustainable Energy Solutions.”

November 12, 2009 – Dr. David Keith

Dept. of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, and Dept. of Economics, University of Calgary
- “Dangerous Abundance: Navigating the Twin Challenges of Oil Scarcity and Climate Change.”

September 18, 2008 – Dr. Don Eigler


IBM Almaden Research Centre, San Jose, California -
”The Small Frontier.”

October 10, 2007 – Dr. Lisa Randall


Professor of Physics, Harvard University
- “Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions.”

September 28, 2006 – Dr. Gerhard Ertl (Nobel Laureate 2007)

Dept. of Physical Chemistry, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin – “From Simple Atoms to the Complexity of Nature: Reactions at Surfaces.”

October 6, 2005 – Dr. Art McDonald


Queen's University & The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Institute (SNOI) – “Exploring the Universe from Deep Underground.”

September 30, 2004 – Dr. Kerry Emanuel


Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, MA – “Predicting Hurricanes and Hurricane Risk: Is Juan a Sign of More to Come?”

October 17, 2003 – Dr. Peter Fromherz

Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany – “Brains & Chips: Computer Neuron Interfacing.”

October 25, 2002 – Dr. Mark Reed

Yale University – “The Coming Age of Nanoelectronics.”

February 1, 2002 – Professor Carlo Montemagno


UCLA -
"Convergence: Integrating Modern Biology with Modern Engineering and Physics."

October 11, 2000 – Professor Steven Chu (Nobel Laureate in 1997)


"The Laser Cooling and Trapping of Atoms and Biomolecules."

September 14, 1999 – Professor Douglas Osheroff (Nobel Laureate)


"Superfluidity in Helium Three: The Discovery through the eyes of a Graduate Student."

September 21, 1998 – Professor Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (Nobel Laureate)

"Bubbles, Foams and Other Fragile Objects"

October 2, 1997 – Professor Michael Grunze

"Manipulating the Solid Liquid Interface from Sensors to Lithography."

October 4, 1996 – Professor Joseph Taylor (Nobel Laureate)

"Binary Pulsars and Einstein's Gravity: The Layman's Guide to a Modern Astrophysical Experiment."

October 13, 1995 – Professor Melissa Franklin

"Strong Forces, Small Distances & Large Hands: Putting the Finishing Touches on Quarks."

October 28, 1994 – Dr. George Bednorz (Nobel Laureate)


"High Tc Superconductivity: A Challenge for Science and Technology."

October 8, 1993 – Professor N. David Mermin


"The Vision of Einstein: The Caution of Bohr."

October 9, 1992 – Dr. Heinrich Rohrer (Nobel Laureate)

"Possibilities of Miniaturization"

October 4, 1991 – Professor Leo P. Kadanoff


"Snatching Chaos From Order: Complex Results from Simple Systems."

September 28, 1990 – Professor Robert J. Birgeneau


"High Tc Superconductivity Comes in from the Cold."

October 27, 1989 – Professor Ernst Bauer


"The Many Faces of a Surface"

October 14, 1988 – Dr. Willard S. Boyle
 (Nobel Laureate 2009)

"Ingredients for Innovation"

October 9, 1987 – Professor Rudolf L. Mössbauer (Nobel Laureate)


"The Solar Neutrino Puzzle."

October 3, 1986 – Professor Michael E. Fisher


"Universality and Singularity: Phase Transitions and Our Understanding of the Physical World."

November 4, 1985 – Professor Werner Israel


"A Romp through Relativity and Cosmology."

October 7, 1984 – Professor Ronald W. P. Drever


"The Search for Gravitational Radiation from the Stars: New Developments Using Laser Interferometry."

September 22, 1983 – Professor Arthur L. Schawlow (Nobel Laureate)


"Spectroscopy in a New Light."

October 28, 1982 – Professor Val L. Fitch (Nobel Laureate)


"Matter Antimatter Asymmetry."

October 15, 1981 – Professor Edward M. Purcell (Nobel Laureate)

"Life in the Magnetic Field."

October 3, 1980 – Professor Chen Ning Yang (Nobel Laureate)


"Gauge Fields: Generalization of Electromagnetism."

September 24, 1979 – Professor Sir Brian Pippard


"The Ivory Tower under Seige."

October 12, 1978 – Professor Freeman Dyson

"The End of the Universe."

September 19, 1977 – Dr. Ivar Giaever (Nobel Laureate)


"Surface Physics and Immunology."