Jefferson Lab Guest Speaker to Discuss Some of the Stranger Aspects of Quantum Physics

Chad Orzel, a physics professor.

NEWPORT NEWS, VA. - The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility hosts its next Science Series lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 9, with a talk by Chad Orzel, a physics professor and author of popular science books and blogs.

His books, “How to Teach Physics to Your Dog” and “How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog” explain modern physics through imaginary conversations with his German shepherd, Emmy. His most recent book, “Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist”, explains how we use the process of science in everyday activities.

In his presentation, “What Every Dog Should Know About Quantum Physics”, Orzel will discuss quantum physics, the science of extremely small things like atoms and subatomic particles. “It is one of the best tested theories in the history of science, and also one of the most bizarre,” points out the associate professor with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. “Many of its predictions – particles that behave like waves, cats that are alive and dead at the same time, objects that pass through barriers as if they weren’t even there – seem more like science fiction than science fact. In this talk I'll explain the reality behind some of the stranger aspects of quantum physics, and why it is so important that even dogs should know about it.”

Orzel has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Williams College and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and studied laser cooling at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (in the lab of Bill Phillips, who shared the 1997 Nobel in Physics). He was a post-doc at Yale, and has been at Union College since 2001. He has written the physics blog Uncertain Principles since 2002 (part of since 2006), and in 2015 started blogging for Orzel and his family live in Niskayuna, N.Y.

The lecture is free and open to students and adults with an interest in science. It will begin at 7 p.m., in the CEBAF Center auditorium located at 12000 Jefferson Ave, Newport News, and will last about an hour. A question and answer period will follow the talk. Seating in the auditorium is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to about 270 people. People arriving once capacity has been reached will be turned away.

All those under age 16 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. Everyone over 16 is asked to carry a valid photo ID. Security guards may perform ID, parcel and vehicle checks.

Enter Jefferson Lab at the intersection of Jefferson Ave. and Hogan Dr.  For directions and additional information about Jefferson Lab public lectures, visit: or contact Christine Wheeler, email or call 757-269-7560.

Lectures are added to the video archive for on-demand viewing upon approval from the presenter.


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DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit