MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --The Jefferson High SchoolScience National Honor Society had the unique opportunity to speak with a Nobel Prize winner last month. Dr. William Phillips, a physicist who utilized lasers to cool and trap atoms, was honored with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.
Mrs. Renee Haines, the sponsor of the Martinsburg High School chapter of Science National Honor Society (SNHS), invited JHS students and staff to take part in the event. Dr. Phillips spoke about his path from Juniata College in Pennsylvania to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and becoming a Nobel Prize winner.
Dr. Phillips interacted with students and answered numerous questions.
"His (Dr. Phillips') eyes seemed to light up with the questions that we asked related to his specific work and field," according to SNHS President Kayla Collins. "I would absolutely love it if we could have another opportunity to speak with him again and learn more about his current work."
Matthew LaBombard was one of the JHS students who asked a question.
"He (Dr. Phillips) talked about his journey throughout school and into his professional career. He also explained his research in 'laser cooling,' which uses lasers at a specific frequency to slow gas particles and, in effect, cool them down. Dr. Phillips was very accepting of other questions about his journey into his career and the relationship he had made but what excited me was his enthusiasm for his work. He was very excited to share the projects he had worked on, and his love for science left me more excited than I already am about science. "