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Charles Reynolds Distinguished Lecture Series in Physics

The Charles A. Reynolds Distinguished Lectures in Physics, initiated in 1998, is presented annually and dedicated to the late Professor Charles A. Reynolds.

Charles Reynolds served as Professor of Physics in our department from 1952 - 1971 when he passed away. Charles Reynolds was one of the co-discoverers of the isotope effect in superconductors. Soon after the second world war, isotopes of materials were available for basic scientific studies. Two groups independently studied the dependence of the superconducting transition temperature Tc upon isotopic mass in isotopically separated samples of mercury. They found a dependence of Tc which varied inversely as the square root of isotope mass. Their works were published in back to back letters in the Physical Review in 1951. This was important direct evidence for the importance of electron phonon coupling in the mechanism for superconductivity. This proved to be basic input in the Bardeen Cooper Schieffer theory of superconductivity in which the pairing of superconducting electrons (the Cooper pairs) could result from an attractive interaction dependent on the presence of strong electron phonon coupling. This coupling mechanism was found to be able to account for the properties of a large number of superconductors.

Previous Charles A. Reynolds Distinguished Lecturers:

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