Monday, October 25, 2010

Wrap-up, Osheroff-fest

The symposium in honor of Doug Osheroff was great fun. It was great to see old friends again, to hear some stories that I didn't know, and to find out what other former group members are up to. The actual talks were generally pretty good, with a number of speakers focusing on how exciting and vibrant the whole field of low temperature physics was in its heyday. There were a total of seven Nobel Laureates there (DDO, Steve Chu, Bob Laughlin, Bob Richardson, Dave Lee, Phil Anderson, and Tony Leggett), and a bunch of other luminaries (Michael Fisher, Daniel Fisher, Bill Brinkman, Ted Geballe, and even a special and unexpected (by me, at least) appearance by Ed Witten). Steve Chu's talk was remarkable in part because he so clearly loved the chance to give an actual technical talk about some of his research, which you get the feeling he doesn't do so much at the DOE. Fun stuff, even when Bob Laughlin was giving me a hard time :-)


Anonymous said...

How was Bob Laughlin giving you a hard time, Doug?

Doug Natelson said...

It was no big deal. Four former Osheroff students and postdocs, me included, gave ~ 15 minute talks. I spoke a little about lessons I'd learned in Doug's lab, and I illustrated my points with a couple of recent pieces of physics from my group. Bear in mind that Bob has stated fairly emphatically in his books that he thinks most "nano" work is oversold playing around without much genuine new physics. He and I actually had a good discussion afterwards about the real science behind the data I'd flashed up there, and that was good. I think he doesn't mind giving me a bit of science grief because he knows I can take it.