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Nobel physicist David Gross to give free public lecture at Chapman University

February 14, 2012

Dr. David Gross gives a brief explanation of string theory in the Nobel video posted above.

Dr. David Gross, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose groundbreaking work led the way to new thinking in the world of physics, will give a public talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Chapman University.

“We are thrilled that Professor Gross can join us at Chapman,” said Jeff Tollaksen, Ph.D., director of the Center for Quantum Studies at Chapman University. “Professor Gross needs no introduction, for several decades, he has been a world leader in high energy physics, particle physics and string theory.  He received numerous prestigious prizes including the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics (along with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer) for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of strong nuclear interactions.  This fundamental discovery is another surprising example as to how our intuition may mislead us when exploring the nature of physical laws.  In particular, the strong force becomes weaker at smaller distances.”

Dr. Gross’ talk, “The Frontiers of Fundamental Physics” will explore the principles that might unify all the forces of nature and help scientists understand the origin and history of the universe. He’ll also discuss what it might mean to have a final theory of fundamental physics and whether science is capable of discovering it.

Gross has been a central figure in the theoretical developments surrounding the emergence of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) as the accepted theory of the strong (nuclear) force. His discovery, with his student Frank Wilczek, of asymptotic freedom—the primary feature of non-Abelian gauge theories—led Gross and Wilczek to the formulation of QCD. Asymptotic freedom is a phenomenon where the nuclear force weakens at short distances, which explains why experiments at very high energy can be understood as if nuclear particles are made of non-interacting quarks. The flip side of asymptotic freedom is that the force between quarks grows stronger as one tries to separate them. This is the reason why the nucleus of an atom can never be broken into its quark constituents.

Dr. Gross is currently the director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The talk is hosted by the Schmid College of Science and Technology and will be held in Sandhu Conference Center. The event is free and refreshments will be served. For more information, please visit

Men’s basketball readies for final season homestand during ‘Crossover Week’

February 13, 2012

Brandon Lin attempts a late rally in Saturday's game. Panthers' last homestand of the season is Wednesday, part of "Crossover Week."

The men’s basketball game came right down to the wire Saturday night in a match up that saw Chapman senior Brandon Lin attempting a dramatic last-minute rally before La Sierra edged Chapman, 80-77. But the Panthers will return with their high-energy style of play in their final homestand of the season Wednesday, Feb. 15, when they host Pacifica College during Chapman’s Crossover Week.

Crossover Week begins Tuesday, Feb. 14, and is a celebration of when the winter and spring seasons collide. Chapman is celebrating with a full week of NCAA events, Panther Pride and giveaways.

Saturday night’s defeat at Hutton Center marked the first loss for the Panthers against La Sierra after 30 consecutive wins. Chapman also had its five-game home winning streak snapped by the upset.

With the Chapman (15-7) ahead 77-75, a decisive three-point shot from La Sierra junior Ben Shaw shifted the momentum to the Golden Eagles with 39 seconds left in the game and gave La Sierra its first lead since the 17:18 mark in the second half. Shaw sealed the deal with a jumper two seconds later to put the Eagles up by the winning margin 80-77.

Read the complete story at the Athletics website.

New library director named at Chapman School of Law

February 10, 2012

Linda Kawaguchi

Chapman University’s School of Law has hired Linda Kawaguchi to be its new Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Library Director and Professor of Law.

Kawaguchi comes to Chapman with 20 years of law school library experience that include five years as library director at Gonzaga University School of Law, and positions at Berkeley Law at UC Berkeley, University of Washington, and University of Michigan law schools. She has a master’s degree in librarianship with a law librarianship certificate from the University of Washington, a juris doctor from the University of Idaho College of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Idaho. She clerked for the Supreme Court of Idaho upon completion of her law school studies.

She is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries, American Bar Association, Association of American Law Schools, and more than a dozen additional library and law-related organizations. She has presented numerous papers on advanced legal research, critical thinking and legislative intent. She teaches advanced legal research.

Got a book collection? You could be a winner in Chapman’s student contest

February 10, 2012

All you students with great book collections – perhaps that bulging bunch of science fiction titles you adore or a collection of poetry anthologies you started collecting back in fourth grade – might want to check out Leatherby Libraries’ John and Margaret Class Student Book Collection Contest.

The contest was inspired by Margaret Class, a Leatherby supporter and avid book collector who is sponsoring the contest in honor of her late husband and to encourage students to build personal libraries and celebrate the printed word.

There is a long tradition of such contests at universities and a little birdie told Happenings that our own Charlene Baldwin, dean of Leatherby Libraries, won just this type of contest when she was an undergraduate at California State University, Sacramento.

All Chapman University undergraduates are eligible to enter. And there are cash prizes for the winners! Entry deadline is April 6. More details are available at the John and Margaret Class Student Book Collection contest website.

Professor Alters elected to prestigious scientific society

February 10, 2012

Dr. Brian Alters

Chapman University faculty member Brian Alters, Ph.D., a resident of Orange, has been elected by his peers as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  This prestigious honor is awarded by the world’s largest general scientific society, which serves some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, comprising some 10 million individuals.

The AAAS journal “Science” has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million.  Founded in 1848, the AAAS is dedicated to advancing science around the world through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more.

The Council elects members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.” In particular, Dr. Alters, who teaches in Chapman’s College of Educational Studies and Schmid College of Science and Technology and directs the university’s Evolution Education Research Center, is “being honored for distinguished contributions to the teaching and defense of biological evolution.”

The honor will be bestowed upon Dr. Alters at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia on February 18. Dr. Alters joins Chapman’s Dr. Virginia Carson, who was elected a Fellow in 1998, in holding this prestigious recognition.

Pico Iyer returns to campus with Graham Greene on his mind

February 9, 2012

Pico Iyer returns to campus Feb. 22.

Acclaimed author and travel writer Pico Iyer returns to Chapman University to give a free lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 in the Henley Reading Room, on the second floor of the university’s Leatherby Libraries.   He will be speaking about and reading from his newest book, The Man Inside My Head, a very personal account of the “mysterious kinship” he says he has always felt with the late British novelist Graham Greene.

The talk is free and open to the public; for more information, call 714-532-6026.   Campus parking information is available here online.

Iyer has visited Chapman annually for the past nine years to appear on Chapman President James L. Doti’s TV show, Dialogue with Doti and Dodge, and, as a Visiting Writer with the Department of English, to speak with classes and public audiences.  He calls Chapman his “second home” and adds that he and Doti have become “kindred spirits.”  “Chapman has almost become my academic base in the U.S.,” he says, “and a place that is now very close to my heart.” Read more…

Look for Pete and get your game on for Panther Athletics’ Crossover Week

February 8, 2012

Ten events, seven teams, five sports…all part of one big week. In a nutshell, that’s Chapman University’s Crossover Week, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 14, when the winter and spring seasons collide. Chapman is celebrating with a full week of NCAA events, Panther Pride and giveaways.

This week, Chapman is preceding Crossover Week with a “Where’s Pete?” contest on Facebook. Each day a new photo of Pete will be unveiled and Facebook fans of Chapman University and Chapman Athletics can guess Pete’s location. And then the real fun begins … To read more, visit the Athletics website.