Michael Wilson, a graduate student in physics, is gearing up to spend five days in June hobnobbing with Nobel Prize-winning physicists in an island city on the edge of the Swiss Alps. Wilson has been chosen as one of 38 doctoral students who will represent the United States at the 51st annual meeting of Nobel laureates in Lindau, Germany.
I'm really excited to be going," Wilson said. "It's a wonderful opportunity to interact with a lot of great minds and explore their views on physics and the world."
The meeting, from June 25 to 29, will feature morning lectures by the Laureates and informal conversations with the students in the afternoons and evenings. As a break from the intensity of scientific discourse, the participants will be treated to a gala opening dinner, sightseeing, and cultural trips.
Nobel laureates have gathered at Lindau since 1951 to meet with students and young researchers. The meetings rotate each year among the disciplines of chemistry, physics, and physiology/medicine; this year, the focus is on physics.
The 38 U.S. students have been invited to attend the meeting by the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge Associated Universities, which will cover the students' travel and living expenses during the meeting. Further information on the Department of Energy delegation is available on the web site.
Wilson, who is in his second year of graduate studies in experimental physics, is working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in Palo Alto as part of a large research project to search for asymmetries between matter and antimatter. Although he anticipates talking to the Laureates about his research, Wilson looks forward to wider benefits than a few pointers about his experiment.
"I'm mainly there to learn from them," he said. "I hope to broaden my understanding of physics in general, rather than focus on a particular topic."