Benson Memorial Lecture

George C. Benson

The George C. Benson Memorial Lectures are in honor of a man whose memory lives with those whose lives crossed his. George spent the years 1960 to 1962 at Miami earning his Master's Degree in Physics. A native Ohioan, he attended public schools in Lodi, Ohio prior to entering Wittenberg College, class of 1958. For two years he taught high school physics, chemistry, and general science at Olmsted Falls, Ohio. His next two years in Oxford gained him the friendship and respect of faculty, fellow students, and others who knew him. His outstanding performance continued at the University of Michigan, where in December 1966 he earned his Ph.D. in Physics, his dissertation topic being "Mesons and Spectator Protons at 3.65 BeV/c." Three months later he died in an airplane crash which killed all aboard.

For years these lectures have brought distinguished speakers, including four Nobel Laureates, to the Miami University campus. The talks have been interdisciplinary in nature, showing the relationship of physics to other fields of human endeavor. They have ranged in subject from Henry Margenau's discussion of the interaction of physics and philosophy to discussions of the relevance of physics to music, medicine, and our environment. The public, as well as the university community, is encouraged to attend all talks.

If you would like to help continue this valuable lecture series, please send a contribution addressed to "Miami University Fund - George C. Benson Memorial Lectures."

Upcoming Benson Lecture

Christopher Jarzynski

Thursday, March 9, 2023, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland

"Scaling Down the Laws of Thermodynamics"

Past Benson Memorial Lectures

Karen A. Kosiba

2019, Alumna, Atmospheric Scientist, Center for Severe Weather Research

"Into the Storm...Oh, the Places Mobile Rader Can Go!"

David J. Eicher

2018, Alumnus, Editor-In-Chief, Astronomy

"The New Cosmos: Astronomy's Ongoing Revolution"

Gregory P. Crawford

2017, President and Professor of Physics, Miami University

"Physicians and Physicists: The Power of Collaboration"

Stacy McGaugh

2016, Case Western Reserve University, Warner and Swasey Observatory

"Gravity and Cosmology a Century after Einstein"

Jeffrey Smith

2015, Alumnus, Space Biology Project Manager, NASA Ames Research Lab

"Space Biophysics: Accomplishments, Trends, Challenges"

Alan M. Nathan

2014, Professor emeritus, University of Illinois

"The Physics of Baseball: You can Observe a Lot by Watching"

Eric Cornell, Nobel Laureate

2013, National Institute of Standards and Technology, University of Colorado

"How symmetric is the electron? Looking for out-of-roundness of 10-15 femtometers"

Daniel P. Lathrop

2012, University of Maryland

"Laboratory Models of the Earth's Core"

Norman Salem

2011, Martek Biosciences Corporation

"What does physics have to do with nutrition, omega-3 fatty acids, and brain development?"

Craig Benson

2010, Wyle Laboratories, Inc

"Non-Destructive Testing: Applied Principles of Physics"

Gerald Smith

2009, Pennsylvania State University and Positronics Research, LLC

"Antimatter: History, Science and Opportunities"

Gregory Benford

2008, University of California, Irvine

"In Case of Abrupt Climate Shift, Break Glass"

E. Dan Dahlberg

2007, University of Minnesota

"Magnetism at the Nanoscale: A Voyeurs Tale"

Ramon E. Lopez

2006, Florida Institute of Technology

"The Science of Space Weather"

Lawrence M. Krauss

2005, Case Western Reserve University

"Einstein's Biggest Blunder?: A Cosmic Mystery Story"

Naomi J. Halas

2004, Rice University

"Nanoshells: Using Nanotechnology to harvest light for Biomedicine"

Robert M. Westervelt

2003, Harvard University

"Micro-electromagnets for the Manipulation of Magnetic Particles"

Bruce F. Griffing

2002, DuPont Photomask

"Physics and Technology of Integrated Circuit Lithography"

William D. Phillips, Nobel Laureate

2001, National Institute of Standards and Technology

"Almost Absolute Zero: The Story of Laser Cooling and Trapping"

Alan P. Boss

2000, Carnegie Institution of Washington

"Extrasolar Planets"

Charles M. Falco

1999, University of Arizona

"The Art and Science of the Motorcycle"

Carol Crannell

1998, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

"High Energy Solar Physics"

Joel Birnbaum

1997, Sr. VP of R&D and Director of Laboratories, Hewlett Packard

"Towards Pervasive Information Systems"

Evelyn T. Patterson

1996, United States Air Force Academy

"Using the World Wide Web for Teaching & Learning"

Bernard Vonnegut

1995, State University of New York at Albany

"Experimental Meteorology"

Richard E. Slusher

1994, AT&T Bell Laboratories

"Semiconductor Optical Microresonators"

Jens C. Zorn

1993, University of Michigan

"Fraud, Plagiarism, and the Integrity of Science"

Leon M. Lederman, Nobel Laureate

1992, University of Chicago

"Microscopes for Quarks: Telescopes for Galaxies"

Judy Franz

1991, West Virginia University

"Women in Science: What is the Problem and What can be Done?"

Richard Blankenbecler

1990, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

"Big Accelerators — Small Distances"

Ivan Schuller

1989, University of California at San Diego

"High Temperature Superconductors"

Michael Turner

1988, Fermilab

"The Early History of the Universe"

Arlo U. Landolt

1987, Louisiana State University

"On Stars, Galaxies, and Their Distances"

Pamela Surko

1986, AT&T Bell Laboratories

"Artificial Intelligence: Panacea of Fraud?"

C. Stuart Bowyer

1985, University of California at Berkeley

"Is Anybody Out There? The Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence"

Alistair B. Fraser

1984, Pennsylvania State University

"The Rainbow Bridge"

John M. Puckett

1983, Los Alamos National Laboratory

"Nuclear Test Ban and Nuclear Arms Reduction"

Solomon Gartenhaus

1982, Purdue University

"A Renaissance of Modern Man: The New Cosmology"

Frank E. Jamerson

1981, General Motors Research Laboratories

"Physics Research in Industry"

Marlan O. Scully

1980, University of Arizona

"General Relativity, Cosmology, and Laser Technology"

Samuel J. Williamson

1979, New York University

"Evoked Neuromagnetic Fields of the Human Brain"

Thomas K. Cureton, Jr.

1978, University of Illinois

"Application of the Laws of Mechanics to Physical Education and Sports Medicine"

Tung H. Jeong

1977, Lake Forest College

"Laser Holography: A Demonstrated Lecture"

E. T. S. Walton, Nobel Laureate

1976, University of Dublin

"Nuclear Physics — From Phosphorescence to Particle Accelerators"

Allan R. Sandage

1975, Hale Observatories

"Did the World Begin?"

John R. Cameron

1974, University of Wisconsin

"Medical Physics: Converting an Art to a Science"

Alvin M. Weinberg

1973, Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

"Social Institutions and Nuclear Energy"

Arthur H. Benade

1972, Case Western Reserve University

"New Woodwind Screeches and Baroque Oboes"

Joseph P. Allen

1971, Astronaut, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

"Is the Moon a Heavy Electron?"

James R. Heirtzler

1970, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

"Earth Science Comes of Age"

Henry Margenau

1969, Yale University

"The Western World and the Sacred Cow"