University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, November 6th 2015
Speaker: Michael Reidy
Subject: How to Create a Physicist
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

In 1850, John Tyndall was struggling to find his way: he was a thirty-year old graduate student in mathematics living in an attic in Marburg, completely unknown, utterly broke, and working himself to the brink of mental and physical exhaustion. Within three years, he held a distinguished professorship at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, working alongside the likes of Michael Faraday, and commanding sold-out crowds wherever he lectured. I will follow Tyndall for these three years as he rose from obscurity to stardom. The route he took will sound both surprising and familiar to modern ears. How he navigated his way through the social and scientific world of mid Victorian Britain can tell us much about how a physicist is created, both then and now.

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