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Scott Lectures

Scott Lecturer 2016

The 2016 Scott Lectures will be given by Professor Melissa Franklin, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, Harvard

16 May  2016        Lecture I. You may find yourself with a beautiful Higgs Boson and 6 beautiful uarks and you may ask yourself - Well .... How did I get here?

18 May  2016        Lecture II. These are a few of my favorite things: Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings.

20 May  2016       Lecture III. What, Where ... and How? The future of the LHC and beyond.

The lectures will be given in the Pippard Lecture Theatre, Cavendish Laboratory, commencing at 4.0 p.m.

Scott Lecturer 2015

The 2015 Scott Lectures were given by Professor Clifford Will, Distinguished Professor of Physics of the University of Florida.

26 October  2015        Lecture I. Was Einstein right? A centennial assessment

28 October  2015        Lecture II. The Cosmic Barber: counting gravitational hair in the solar system and beyond

30 October  2015       Lecture III. On the unreasonable effectiveness of post-Newtonian theory in gravitational physics




The money received (in 1927) from the bequest of Professor AW. Scott for the furtherance of Physical Science is called the AW. Scott Fund.


Extract from Who's Who, 1927 
SCOTT, ARTHUR WILLIAM, M.A. Phillips Professor (Science), St. David's College, Lampeter, since 1872; b. Dublin, 1846; s. of late David Scott, Dublin. Educ.: Trinity College, Dublin. B.A. 1868; Senior Moderator and Gold Medallist in Mathematics, and Senior Moderator and Gold Medallist in Experimental and Natural Science; M.A 1872; Fellow of the Physical Society of London; Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Mayor of Lampeter, 1910-11; Fellow of the Institute of Physics. Recreation: travelling. Address: St. David's College, Lampeter. Club: St. Stephen's.


A short course of lectures called the Scott Lectures are delivered each year in the Department of Physics. The Lecturer, called the Scott Lecturer, is appointed by the Faculty Board of Physics and Chemistry. He is paid from the income of the AW. Scott Fund such sum as the Faculty Board, with the consent of the Financial Board, determine.

Previous Scott Lecturers

NoYearLecturerLecture Title
1 1930 Bohr Unknown
2 1931 Langmuir Unknown
3 1932 Debye Unknown
4 1933 Geiger Unknown
5 1934 Heisenberg Unknown
6 1935 Hevesy Unknown
7 1936 Appleton Unknown
8 1937 De Haas Unknown
9 1938 Siegbahn Unknown
10 1939 Blackett Unknown
11 1948 Pauling Unknown
12 1949 Gorter Unknown
13 1950 
Professor C.F. Powell Cosmic Radiation.
14 1951 
Professor N.F. Mott Theory of the Mechanical Properties of Solids.
15 1952 
Professor M.H.L. Pryce Structure of the Nucleus.
16 1953 
Professor Simon Application of Low Temperature Physics to some Problems of General Physics.
17 1954 
D.F. Martyn Dynamics of the Ionosphere.
18 1955 
Sir E.C. Bullard The Interior of the Earth.
19 1956 
Sir Richard Woolley Stellar Motions and Models to explain them.
20 1957 
Professor H.C. Urey The Abundance of the Elements. The meteorites and the origin of the solar system. The escape of planetary atmosphere and their probable history.
21 1958 
Sir J.D. Cockcroft & Dr P.C. Thonemann Research Problems on Controlled Thermonuclear Reactions.
22 1959 
H Friedman Exploration of the Upper Atmosphere by Rockets and Satellites.
23 1960 
Professor M. Delbruck Problems in Molecular Biology.
24 1961 
Professor D.H. Wilkinson Nuclear Structure and the Elementary Particles.
25 1962 (act.) Sir Harrie Massey Scientific Research in Space.
26 1963 (act.) Dr C.H. Townes Masers and their use in scientific research.
27 1964 
Professor H. Bondi The Theory of Gravitation.
28 1966 
Professor P.G. de Gennes Superconductors.
29 1967 
Professor A. Salam The Physics of Particles.
30 1967 
Professor V.L. Ginzburg The Astrophysics of Cosmic Rays.
31 1970 
Dr J.W. Tukey 
(Bell Telephone Labs.)
Fourier Transforms and Spectra from Numbers.
32 1971 
Professor W.A. Fowler Nuclear Astrophysics.
33 1972 
Dr David Marr (M.R.C.) The storage and organisation of information in the brain.
34 1975 
Professor Steven Weinberg (Harvard University) Recent advances in the study of fundamental particles.
35 1976 
Professor DJ. Bradley 
(Professor of Applied Optics at Imperial College)
36 1977 
Professor Robert H. Dicke (Princeton University) The Enigmatic Solar Oblateness.
37 1979 
Professor Paul J. Flory (Stanford University)
38 1980 
Professor Christopher Longuet-Higgins, FRS Towards a theory of musical perception.
39 1981 
Dr G.E. Hunt (UCL) Physics of the atmospheres of the planets.
40 1982 
Dr Erwin Gabathuler (CERN, Geneva) The evolution of leptons and quarks in elementary particle physics.
41 1983 
Professor J.A. Krumhansl (Cornell University) Solitons in physics with particular applications to conducting polymers and D.N.A.
42 1984 
Dr R. Hide (Meteorological Office) Rotating Fluids in Astrophysics and Geophysics.
43 1985 
Dr C.W.M. Swithinbank, Dr M.J. Rycroft, 
Dr J.R. Dudeney (British Antarctic Survey)
Antarctic Research: The Quest and the Quarry.
44 1986 
Professor L.D. Hall 
(Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Cambridge)
Nuclear magnetic resonance.
45 1987 
(April/ May)
Professor S. Chandrasekhar 
(Nehru Visiting Professor and Raman Research Institute, Bangalore)
The physics of liquid crystals.
46 1988 
Professor A. Pais 
(Rockefeller University, New York)
Neils Bohr - his life and work.
47 1989 
Professor P. Darriulat 
(Research Director, CERN)
Experimental Particle Physics: Present and Future.
48 1990 
Professor H. Fritzsche 
(The James Franck Institute, University of Chicago)
A Science of Glasses.
49 1991 
Dr R. Landauer 
(IBM, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, New York)
There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom.
50 1992 
Professor J.H. Taylor (Princeton University) Pulsars After 25 Years.
51 1993 
(Jan. '94)
Dr Per Bak (Brookhaven National Laboratory) Self-Organised Criticality.
52 1994 
Professor M. Cardona 
(Max-Planck-Institut fur Festkorperforschung)
Light Scattering in Solids.
53 1995 
(Feb '96)
Professor J. Hopfield(Caltech) Neural Networks, Dynamics and Computation.
54 1996 
Dr S. Parkin 
(IBM Almaden Research Centre)
Magnetic Materials for Information Storage.
55 1997 
(May '98)
Dr A. Tyson (Bell Laboratories) Imaging Cosmic Dark Matter.
56 1998 
(Feb. '99)
Professor B. B. Mandelbrot 
(Isaac Newton Institute)
Fractals and Wild Variability in Physics
57 1999 
(Mar '00)
Professor R J Birgeneau (MIT) Low Dimensional Quantum Spin Systems and High Temperature Superconductivity
58 2000 
(Apr/May '01)
Professor Martin Karplus Proteins: The Fourth Dimension
59 2001 
(Feb '02)
Professor Rashid Sunyaev 
(Max-Planck-Institut fur Astrophysik)
Advances in High Energy Astrophysics and Astrophysical Cosmology
60 2002 
(May '03)
Professor Steven Chu (Stanford) Single molecule studies in polymer physics and biology
61 2003 
(Feb '04)
Professor Tony Leggett 
(University if Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Bose Einstein Condensation and Cooper Pairing � When, Why, How?
62 2004 
(Mar '05)
Professor Ahmed Zewail
(California Institute of Technology)
Physics of Life.
63 2005 
(Feb. '06)
Professor Frank Wilczek
(Centre for Theoretical Physics, MIT)
New Ideas in Particle Physics and Cosmology 
I. Unification, Supersymmetry and the Family Problem 
II Dark Matters: WIMPs and Axions
III Diquarks: Reforming Hadron Spectroscopy 
64 2006 
(Mar. 07)
Professor William Phillips (NIST) I. Almost Absolute Zero: the story of laser cooling and trapping.
II. Optics with laser-like atom waves.
III. A Bose-Einstein condensate in an optical lattice: cold atomic gases meet solid state physics.


(April 2009)

Professor David Sherrington Series Title : Physics & Complexity 
I An Overview 
II Methodologies 
III Examples


(May 2010)

Professor Kip Thorne 
Emeritus Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics 
California Institute of Technology
Series Title: Gravitational Waves: A New Window onto the Universe
I Probing the Warped Side of the Universe with Numerical Simulations and Gravitational Waves 
II. Gravitational-Wave Detectors above 10Hz: Weber Bars, LIGO, GEO, VIRGO, TAMA, LCGT, and Einstein Telescope 
III. Gravitational-Wave Detectors Below 10Hz: LISA, Pulsar Timing Arrays, CMB Polarization, Atom Interferometers, and the Big Bang Observer 
Link to Poster
67 2010 
(Mar 2011)
Professor Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
Collège de France and Laboratoire Kastler Brossel
École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
Quantum Interference I (link to slides) 
Quantum Interference II (link to slides)
Quantum Interference III (link to slides)
Link to poster
68 2011 
(Mar 2012)
Professor Michele Parrinello
Computational Science
ETH, Zurich
Colouring The Noise
Ab-Initio simulation of water and its ions
Link to posters






(May 2013)




Professor Ely Yablonovitch
Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
UC Berkely, USA


Professor Clifford Will

The Opto-Electronics that Broke the Efficiency Record in Solar Cells (link to slides) 
Energy Efficient Electronics: Searching for the Milli-Volt Switch (link to slides)
The Two Conflicting Narratives of Metal-Optics; aka Plasmonics (link to slides)
Link to posters