Colloquium: “Reflections on 5 decades in Wake Forest Physics: A history of brief time and what does all this have to do with gamma rays and the price of crystals?” September 5, 2018, at 4:00 PM

Dr. Richard Williams – Reynolds Professor, Department of Physics, Wake Forest University and recipient of the 2017 Physics Department Distinguished Alumni Award
George P. Williams, Jr. Lecture Hall, (Olin 101)
Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at 4:00 PM

There will be a reception with refreshments at 3:30 PM in the lounge. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.


Last week marked the 54th anniversary of my entry to Wake Forest as a freshman. After Prof. Shields, I may have the second longest (if slightly broken) span of active involvement in Wake Forest Physics of anyone present.  That means part of my talk has to seem like your grandpa ruminating about the old days and old ways from then to now.

Speaking of time, the scientific core of my remarks will look at the evolution and applications of time-resolved spectroscopy in 50 years – that’s 9 orders of magnitude from nanoseconds to attoseconds.  Fascination with that core technique of “excite/probe” cause-and-effect physics eventually brought me and my research group at Wake Forest to our current focus on gamma rays interacting with materials.  I want to share why that is interesting.