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Harvard Professor Presents Distinguished Lecture on “The Science and Art of Taming Light”

The Department of Physics in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences will be hosting the 25th Robert D. Maurer Distinguished Lecture Series with Dr. Lene Vestergaard Hau, the Mallinckrodt professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University.

Hau will be present her work on “The Science and Art of Taming Light” on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. in Gearhart Hall 0026. This will be the first lecture held after a three-year series hiatus due to the pandemic.

“Our department is proud to welcome such a distinguished speaker to campus,” said Lin Oliver, chair of the Department of Physics. “Dr. Hau’s work has illuminated the role of light and matter upon the field of quantum engineering and will be greatly beneficial to the students and faculty members who experience her insight at this month’s lecture.”

Dr. Hau has contributed to a wide variety of research fields with her research on Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics. Most recently, Hau has shifted her attention to biophysics, alongside experimental and theoretical optical and atomic physics.

In addition to her many research contributions, Hau has received several prestigious awards for her work. She was named a 2001 MacArthur Fellow and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

Hau’s revolutionary work on storing light has produced astonishing results. Her team succeeded in slowing a single pulse of light down 50 million times lower than the normal light speed, with the capability of extinguishing light in one part of space and reviving it in another.

Those interested in learning more about the manipulation of light are encouraged to attend the lecture on Thursday, Sept. 21, and visit the Department of Physics website at

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