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The New Faraday Chemistry Lectures

Lecturer: Chemistry Chair Peter B. Armentrout and Professor Chuck Wight
Date: December 13 and 14, 2005
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Henry Eyring Chemistry Building, room 2008, University of Utah

The University of Utah’s wildly popular Faraday Chemistry Christmas lecture series began in 1980 and has been presented every year during the holiday season. This year, the lectures will feature new faces: chemistry department Chair Peter B. Armentrout and Professor Chuck Wight. Dressed like 19th century chemists in tuxedos and top hats, they will introduce a dynamic new series of experiments and demonstrations that will educate and entertain audiences of all ages.

In all, more than 30 exciting chemistry experiments will be presented during the two lectures at 7 p.m. Tuesday Dec. 13 and Wednesday Dec. 14. News media representatives are invited to cover the event in room 2008 Henry Eyring Building.

The event is free and open to the public, but admission is limited to ticket holders, and tickets for this year’s lectures already are “sold out.”

Michael Faraday – the discoverer of electromagnetic induction, electromagnetic rotations, the magneto-optical effect, diamagnetism and field theory – was born in London in 1791. Faraday served as director of the Royal Institution in London and established the institution as a center for scientific research and education. A gifted lecturer, he began presenting his Christmas Lectures for Children at the Royal Institution in the 1840s. With Faraday as their guide, audiences entered wholeheartedly into the world of science.

Since 1980, the Faraday lectures at the University of Utah have become perhaps the most anticipated and well attended lecture series on campus, thanks to the efforts of chemistry Professor Ron Ragsdale and Jerry Driscoll. After a remarkable 24-year run, Ragsdale and Driscoll “retired” from the exhausting effort of staging the demonstrations and lectures to make way for Armentrout and Wight.