Rowan Holds Einstein Centennial LectureApril 28, 2005
Dr. Shahriar S. Afshar, a visiting physics professor at Rowan University, will present ?Afshar Experiment: Einstein's Rebellion Lives on at Rowan,? an informal lecture honoring 100 years
since Albert Einstein's revolutionary papers in 1905, on Monday, May 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Edelman Planetarium in Science Hall.
The informal program will focus on Afshar?s experiment conducted at Rowan University that keeps Einstein?s legacy alive. One of Einstein's three papers in 1905 (which eventually won him the Nobel Prize in 1921) was his explanation of the photoelectric effect, in which he proposed the idea of particles of light, later called photons. Einstein considered photons to move through
space like rain drops, with bullet-like paths. Although this picture was successful in explaining many newly discovered phenomena, it ignored 200 years of successful application of waves as a model for light. In 1927 a formal debate ensued between Niels Bohr and Einstein, in which Einstein tried to show that quantum mechanics was wrong. Bohr had suggested a principle called complementarity in which light could have either wave-like or particle-like properties, but never both in any given experiment. Einstein famously failed to counter Bohr, and since then
Bohr has been thought the winner of that debate.
Last summer, Afshar conducted an experiment at Rowan that showed Einstein was in fact right, albeit for the wrong reasons.
Afshar will explain the history of the debate and briefly discuss the experimental results obtained at Rowan in collaboration with two Rowan physics professors, Drs. Eduardo Flores and Ernst Knoesel.