I am a sceptic of relativity theory and am trying to become a believer. As far as I know (about this theory), time slows down when some one travels at the speed of light. What about blind people ? Will this effect happen for them as well ?.. I am curious because blind people have nothing to do with light.
By Siv Schwink
June 27, 2012
UI Physics doctoral candidate William McGehee is one of 580 young researchers worldwide to be selected to attend the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau Germany from July 1 thru 6. More than 25 laureates in the fields of physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine are expected to attend. The annual meeting provides an intergenerational forum for leading-edge physicists to exchange ideas, discuss projects and build international networks. McGehee’s participation is sponsored by The National Science Foundation.
This year’s Lindau meeting is dedicated to exploring unanswered questions not addressed by the standard model of particle physics. Participants will attend formal talks and discussion panels, and will take part in less formal focus groups to address current theoretical and experimental research in dark matter and energy. They will also look at the as-yet unanswered question of how particles within an atom obtain their mass.
McGehee’s current research centers on quantum simulation of disordered systems with ultracold atoms, looking specifically at the role of disorder in interacting systems. As a member of UI professor Brian DeMarco’s experimental research team, McGehee was among the first physicists to experimentally localize 3D matter waves. The team’s findings were published in “Three-Dimensional Anderson Localization of Ultracold Matter” in the October 2011 issue of Science.
McGehee said he is honored to represent America at the meeting and is looking forward to what will be a formative experience: “Learning where this field of science is headed will help me to decide how I want my career to advance.”
McGehee said he is eager to attend a focus session to be led by 1997 Nobel laureate William Phillips, whom he first met at a meeting of The American Physical Society’s Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics.
“He is one of the fathers of laser cooling,” said McGehee. “I would like to get his perspective on where the field is headed.”
After the meeting, McGehee plans to give a talk at the University of Hanover on Anderson localization of ultracold 3D matter waves.
McGehee holds a bachelor of science in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a student there in 2007, McGehee worked for a semester on the STAR detector, one of four experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider of the Brookhaven National Laboratory; for this, McGehee developed optical characterization techniques for Gas Electron Multiplier particle trackers.
The same year, McGehee completed a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) summer internship in Science and Engineering at Bonn University, during which he designed, built and documented a fast, multi-channel gamma-ray counter that has been collecting data ever since.
McGehee received a Department of Physics Graduate Fellowship in 2008, and was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship semi-finalist in 2009.
McGehee’s said his keen interest in physics has everything to do with finding answers: “I had always wanted to be a chemist, but at some point, it didn’t provide the answers I wanted. In physics, you are looking at what’s going on at the lowest level. It’s about finding the truth of a system—and that’s pretty rewarding.”
If you have questions about the Department of Physics or ideas for other stories, contact Siv Schwink, 217.300.2201
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