Rice University logoGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
 Chapman Lecture (image) 

Save The Date 
February 25, 2016
Hosted by the Department of Electrical and Computer engineering
Rice University

 "Tabletop X-Ray Lasers: From Star Wars to Nanotechnology" 
Ever since the invention of the laser over 50 years ago, scientists have been striving to create an x-ray version of the laser. The x-ray sources we currently use in medicine, security screening, and science are in essence the same x-ray light bulb source that Röntgen discovered in 1895. In the same way that visible lasers can concentrate light energy far better than a light bulb, a directed beam of x-rays would have many useful applications in science and technology. The problem was that until recently, we needed ridiculously high power levels to make an x-ray laser. The first successful x-ray laser experiments were, in fact, powered by nuclear detonations as as part of the “star wars” program in the 1980s. To make a practical, tabletop-scale, x-ray laser source required taking a very different approach that involves transforming a beam of light from a visible laser into a beam of x-rays. The story behind how this happened is surprising and beautiful, highlighting how powerful our ability is to manipulate nature at a quantum level. Along the way, we also learned to generate the shortest strobe light in existence - fast enough to capture even the fleeting dance of electrons in the nanoworld. This new capability shows promise for next-generation electronics, data and energy storage devices, and future medical diagnostics.
Speaker: Dr. Margaret Murnane 
Dr. Margaret Murnane is a Fellow at JILA and a member of the Department of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado. Prof. Murnane's research interests have been in ultrafast optical and x-ray science. Prof. Murnane is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America. In 1997 she was awarded the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award of the American Physical Society, in 2000 she was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow, in 2004 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2006 she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About the Chapman Lecture:
The Chapman Lecture Series was created in 2007 to provide support to bring visiting scientists in nanotechnology, to include Natural Sciences and Electrical Engineering.  The series is made possible by the generous support of Dr. Richard A. Chapman '54 and Barbara Madden Chapman '54. Hailing from Waxahachie, Texas, Dr. Chapman matriculated at Rice in 1950. An all-star tackle, Dr. Chapman was All-Southwest Conference twice, made several All-American teams and was a member of the Cotton Bowl All-Star team in the 1950s. Despite being a first-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions, Dr. Chapman decided to stay at Rice and pursue graduate degrees. After receiving a B.A. in physics in 1954, he began work under the tutelage of Professor Tom Bonner, a Rice physics professor for whom Bonner Nuclear Lab is named.  Dr. Chapman earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in 1955 and 1957, respectively, writing his theses on neutron-producing reactions. After completing his degrees, Dr. Chapman worked for General Electric in its nuclear power reactor research and development department for two years and then joined Texas Instruments in 1959. During his career, Dr. Chapman authored 114 papers and was granted 42 U.S. patents. Dr. Chapman was the recipient of six Texas Instruments awards, three for patents on infrared sensing arrays and three for silicon integrated circuit technology. Originally from Houston, Mrs. Barbara Dell Chapman earned her B.A. in English in 1954. She taught school with the Houston area public schools for one year, and then was a full-time homemaker raising the couple’s four children. Dr. and Mrs. Chapman are ardent supporters of their alma mater, Rice University.  

Previous Lectures 

The department of Physics & Astronomy organized the first two lectures in 2009 and another in Fall 2015.
Inaugural Chapman Lecture was held in April of 2009.


March 25, 2013 - "The Nano-Gold Rush"
Jochen Feldmann, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (LMU), Munich, Germany
Host: Kevin Kelly

March 7, 2012 - "The Science of Invisbility"
John Pendry, Imperial College London
Host: Naomi Halas

November 5, 2009 - "WONDER IN FLAT CARBON WORLD: Graphene"
Philip Kim, Columbia University

April 6, 2009 - "NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR STRETCHABLE ELECTRONICS: From Electronic Eyeballs to Brain Monitors"
John A. Rogers, University of Illinois