Sunday, 29 October 2006

Radisson Heritage Motel

in the "Middlesex Room"

10 Independence Drive, Chelmsford MA -- Adjacent to Parlmont Plaza

Adjacent to Intersection of Route 110 (Chelmsford Street) and Route 495 (Exit 34)

On Route 110 between Chelmsford Center and the Route 3 Intersection


Refreshments 6:00 p.m.

Dinner 6:30 p.m. Guest Speaker 7:45 p.m.




Professor of Chemistry and Physics, Harvard University


Picture Perfect: Persuasion, Politics, and Prejudice Surrounding the Scientific Image, 1800 - 2006



Some physical scientists recall the days not so long ago when images were thought of as crutches for the weak minded. Scientists who spent time on them clearly had nothing better to do. The advent of the computer generated image has changed this attitude, but the question remains whether images have gone too far. Are computers substituting for thought? Are they too powerful, too convincing? We trace a certain path through the images generated by wave physics from 1800 to the present, and via several "case histories" (Chladni, Eigler, Edgerton, Westervelt) begin to understand the power of images and their ability to advance ideas and careers.



Eric Johnson Heller (b. 1946) is a member of the Physics and Chemistry faculties of Harvard University, where he also received his Ph.D. in 1973. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society. Eric was selected as the 2005 recipient of the American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry sponsored by IBM Corporation. In 2006, he was elected to the National Academy of Science. Eric's current research involves theoretical investigation of wave behavior, rogue waves, chaos and quantum mechanics, and collision theory. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. See



Each standing wave is a different resonant frequency of the chamber; these are successive modes starting at the upper left. The modes closely follow the patterns of classical ray paths bouncing within the chamber, providing a visual translation between classical and quantum physics.

There are four topologically distinct classes of trajectories in this billiard system. One class is chaotic, and three are quasiperiodic, making this a "mixed" system with quasiperiodic and chaotic orbits coexisting at the same energy, but differing in position and direction of travel.

One of the stable, quasiperiodic modes is used for laser cavities, seen e.g. at the lower left. The chaotic classical trajectories travel vertically through the center of the billiard, and then along the walls. Modes corresponding to chaotic motion can be identified as having amplitude in the middle region with nodes horizontal, see, e.g., upper right mode.


Menu Choices:

New England Clam Chowder, Caesar Salad, Entree, Fresh Rolls, Dessert, Coffee/Tea

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Please Respond No Later than Wednesday 18 October

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Reservation Details

Sunday, 29 October 2006

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______ Nantucket Swordfish

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Banquet reservations should be made by phone or mail as soon as possible to your banquet representative identified below. The banquet cost is indicated above, please make out checks to Sigma Xi and send them to the Robert Hartwell, Chapter Secretary, 10 Parlee Road, Chelmsford MA 01824.

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Your Chapter secretary may be contacted as follows:

Robert Hartwell

10 Parlee Road

Chelmsford, MA 01824


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