Physics graduate student to attend international meeting with Nobel laureates

June 15, 2004

AUSTIN, Texas—Graduate student Stanley Seibert of The University of Texas at Austin has been selected as one of 58 outstanding young researchers to attend an international meeting that provides students with access to Nobel laureates.

The meeting focused on physics is taking place June 27-July 2 in Lindau, Germany, where it has been held on various disciplines since 1951.

Stanley Seibert
Stanley Seibert

Photo: Marsha Miller

Seibert, who has a 3.88 grade-point average, will attend along with 22 other students selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The National Science Foundation and Oak Ridge Associated Universities selected 35 other national representatives as part of more than 500 student attendees.

Seibert studies high-energy physics in the laboratory of Dr. Joshua R. Klein. Seibert became intrigued by physics while pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer science at Arizona State University.

“The truly bizarre world of quantum mechanics really interested me, and I realized I could take my computer skills and apply them to fundamental questions in physics,” Seibert said.

In Arizona, where he majored in physics and computer science, he worked on a student-run project to design and launch a satellite as part of a team that designed its communications and control software. He also worked in a particle-accelerator lab, maintaining data acquisition software for the device that determined the chemicals in materials by bombarding them with particles.

In Austin, he is preparing to spend the summer at the Sudbury Nuetrino Observatory in a nickel mine near the Ontario, Canada, city where scientists study the properties of neutrino particles emitted by the Sun. Seibert will don a jumpsuit and hard hat for mine work that will help make troubleshooting software for the neutrino detection device capable of monitoring new detector components.

The observatory has already determined that an unexpectedly low level of solar neutrinos found by previous scientists resulted from their detectors’ inabilities to sense these particles changing from electron neutrinos to tau and muon “flavors” of neutrinos.

“I will be curious if anyone in Germany will talk about future neutrino experiments,” Seibert said, noting that he heads to Canada two days after the German meeting ends.

In preparation for the 54th Lindau Meeting, he will travel to Washington, D.C., on June 25 for an orientation at DOE headquarters. The students fly to Germany that evening, and attend the meeting’s opening ceremony in the historic island city two nights later.

Students at the meeting will attend Nobel laureate lectures each morning, participate in afternoon roundtable discussions with them, and share lunches and dinners with the accomplished scientists.

The meeting will be capped July 2 with closing ceremonies at the baroque Mainau Castle. It is the residence of Swedish patron Count Lennart Bernadotte, who began the Lindau meetings.

Photos and daily meeting information will be posted at www.orau.gov/lindau2004. The Web site and travel arrangements for the 23 DOE participants are being administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education of Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

For more information contact: Barbra Rodriguez, College of Natural Sciences, 512-232-0675.