Benson Memorial Lecture

George C. BensonThe George C. Benson Memorial Lectures are in honor of a man whose memory lives with those whose lives crossed his. George spent the years 1960 to 1962 at Miami earning his Master's Degree in Physics. A native Ohioan, he attended public schools in Lodi, Ohio prior to entering Wittenberg College, class of 1958. For two years he taught high school physics, chemistry, and general science at Olmsted Falls, Ohio. His next two years in Oxford gained him the friendship and respect of faculty, fellow students, and others who knew him. His outstanding performance continued at the University of Michigan, where in December 1966 he earned his Ph.D. in Physics, his dissertation topic being "Mesons and Spectator Protons at 3.65 BeV/c." Three months later he died in an airplane crash which killed all aboard.

For years these lectures have brought distinguished speakers, including three Nobel Laureates, to the Miami University campus. The talks have been interdisciplinary in nature, showing the relationship of physics to other fields of human endeavor. They have ranged in subject from Henry Margenau's discussion of the interaction of physics and philosophy to discussions of the relevance of physics to music, medicine, and our environment. The public, as well as the university community, is encouraged to attend all talks.

If you would like to help continue this valuable lecture series, please send a contribution addressed to "Miami University Fund - George C. Benson Memorial Lectures."

Past Benson Memorial Lectures

Gregory P. Crawford, 2017, President and Professor of Physics, Miami University
"Physicians and Physicists: The Power of Collaboration"

Stacy McGaugh, 2016, Case Western Reserve University, Warner and Swasey Observatory
"Gravity and Cosmology a Century after Einstein"

Jeffrey Smith '91, 2015, Space Biology Project Manager, NASA Ames Research Lab
"Space Biophysics: Accomplishments, Trends, Challenges"

Alan M. Nathan, 2014, Professor emeritus, University of Illinois.
"The Physics of Baseball: You can Observe a Lot by Watching"

Eric Cornell, Nobel Laureate, 2013, National Institute of Standards and Technology, University of Colorado
"How symmetric is the electron? Looking for out-of-roundness of 10-15 femtometers"

Daniel P. Lathrop, 2012, University of Maryland
"Laboratory Models of the Earth's Core"

Norman Salem, 2011, Martek Biosciences Corporation
"What does physics have to do with nutrition, omega-3 fatty acids, and brain development?"

Craig Benson, 2010, Wyle Laboratories, Inc
"Non-Destructive Testing: Applied Principles of Physics"

Gerald Smith, 2009, Pennsylvania State University and Positronics Research, LLC
"Antimatter: History, Science and Opportunities"

Gregory Benford, 2008. University of California, Irvine
"In Case of Abrupt Climate Shift, Break Glass"

E. Dan Dahlberg, 2007. University of Minnesota
"Magnetism at the Nanoscale: A Voyeurs Tale"

Ramon E. Lopez, 2006. Florida Institute of Technology
"The Science of Space Weather"

Lawrence M. Krauss, 2005. Case Western Reserve University
"Einstein's Biggest Blunder?: A Cosmic Mystery Story"

Naomi J. Halas, 2004. Rice University
"Nanoshells: Using Nanotechnology to harvest light for Biomedicine"

Robert M. Westervelt, 2003. Harvard University
"Micro-electromagnets for the Manipulation of Magnetic Particles"

Bruce F. Griffing, 2002. DuPont Photomask
"Physics and Technology of Integrated Circuit Lithography"

William D. Phillips, Nobel Laureate, 2001. National Institute of Standards and Technology
"Almost Absolute Zero: The Story of Laser Cooling and Trapping"

Alan P. Boss, 2000. Carnegie Institution of Washington
"Extrasolar Planets"

Charles M. Falco, 1999. University of Arizona
"The Art and Science of the Motorcycle"

Carol Crannell, 1998. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
"High Energy Solar Physics"

Joel Birnbaum, Sr. VP of R&D and Director of Laboratories, 1997. Hewlett Packard
"Towards Pervasive Information Systems"

Evelyn T. Patterson, 1996. United States Air Force Academy
"Using the World Wide Web for Teaching & Learning"

Bernard Vonnegut, 1995. State University of New York at Albany
"Experimental Meteorology"

Richard E. Slusher, 1994. AT&T Bell Laboratories
"Semiconductor Optical Microresonators"

Jens C. Zorn, 1993. University of Michigan
"Fraud, Plagiarism, and the Integrity of Science"

Leon M. Lederman, Nobel Laureate, 1992. University of Chicago
"Microscopes for Quarks: Telescopes for Galaxies"

Judy Franz, 1991. West Virginia University
"Women in Science: What is the Problem and What can be Done?"

Richard Blankenbecler, 1990. Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
"Big Accelerators — Small Distances"

Ivan Schuller, 1989. University of California at San Diego
"High Temperature Superconductors"

Michael Turner, 1988. Fermilab
"The Early History of the Universe"

Arlo U. Landolt, 1987. Louisiana State University
"On Stars, Galaxies, and Their Distances"

Pamela Surko, 1986. AT&T Bell Laboratories
"Artificial Intelligence: Panacea of Fraud?"

C. Stuart Bowyer, 1985. University of California at Berkeley
"Is Anybody Out There? The Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence"

Alistair B. Fraser, 1984. Pennsylvania State University
"The Rainbow Bridge"

John M. Puckett, 1983. Los Alamos National Laboratory
"Nuclear Test Ban and Nuclear Arms Reduction"

Solomon Gartenhaus, 1982. Purdue University
"A Renaissance of Modern Man: The New Cosmology"

Frank E. Jamerson, 1981. General Motors Research Laboratories
"Physics Research in Industry"

Marlan O. Scully, 1980. University of Arizona
"General Relativity, Cosmology, and Laser Technology"

Samuel J. Williamson, 1979. New York University
"Evoked Neuromagnetic Fields of the Human Brain"

Thomas K. Cureton, Jr., 1978. University of Illinois
"Application of the Laws of Mechanics to Physical Education and Sports Medicine"

Tung H. Jeong, 1977. Lake Forest College
"Laser Holography: A Demonstrated Lecture"

E. T. S. Walton, Nobel Laureate, 1976. University of Dublin
"Nuclear Physics — From Phosphorescence to Particle Accelerators"

Allan R. Sandage, 1975. Hale Observatories
"Did the World Begin?"

John R. Cameron, 1974. University of Wisconsin
"Medical Physics: Converting an Art to a Science"

Alvin M. Weinberg, Director, 1973. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
"Social Institutions and Nuclear Energy"

Arthur H. Benade, 1972. Case Western Reserve University
"New Woodwind Screeches and Baroque Oboes"

Joseph P. Allen, Astronaut, 1971. NASA Manned Spacecraft Center
"Is the Moon a Heavy Electron?"

James R. Heirtzler, 1970. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
"Earth Science Comes of Age"

Henry Margenau, 1969. Yale University
"The Western World and the Sacred Cow"