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Jorgensen Hall dedication Oct. 29

jbrehm2, October 18, 2010 | View original publication

Jorgensen Hall dedication Oct. 29

The public is invited to join the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Physics and Astronomy as it celebrates and dedicates its new home.

University officials, state leaders, faculty, staff, students and alumni will gather Oct. 29 to dedicate Jorgensen Hall. The celebration gets under way at 4 p.m. with featured speaker, alumnus and Nobel laureate Alan Heeger, who will be followed by an "extreme ribbon cutting." Guided tours and a reception also are planned.

The new 125,000-square-foot facility, located at 855 N. 16th St. on UNL's City Campus, is named for alumnus, distinguished educator and former department chair Theodore "Ted" Jorgensen. Among his many accomplishments, Jorgensen was involved in the Manhattan Project, which spurred the idea to create UNL's now-internationally recognized atomic collisions program.

"Ted dedicated decades of his life to teaching and research at UNL and led the department into the modern age of research," department chair Dan Claes said. "It's fitting that this modern facility that enables our faculty and students to discover, achieve and excel will bear his name."

Jorgensen Hall, a $37 million state-funded project, features two large lecture auditoriums, four state-of-the-art teaching labs, eight classrooms and office and labs for faculty and graduate students. It also has an expansive atrium that includes antique physics equipment displays, lounge and collaboration areas and steel and glass sculptures created by Philadelphia artist Ray King.

The building brings together physicists from all research areas and fosters collaboration, Claes said. Until moving into Jorgensen Hall, the department had been spread across three buildings on the campus' western edge.

Perkins+Will designed the building with assistance from Bahr Vermeer Haecker Architects. Sampson Construction completed construction.

Jorgensen Hall was designed to earn a silver certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, better known as the LEED program.

The "green" building program rates buildings as certified, silver, gold or platinum. Ratings are based on the degree to which a building's construction and operations are sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

The upcoming dedication ceremony is the culmination of Physics Week, which features demonstrations, lectures for all ages and opportunities to explore the new building. Events run Oct. 26-30. All are free and open to the public.

* Professor Dan Claes will present "Comic Book Physics 101" at 7 p.m. on Oct. 26. He will explore physics topics inspired by iconic comic book characters and significant events in their history.

* Research associate professor Cliff Bettis will present "A Little Bit About Almost Nothing" at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27. The show is packed with demonstrations and experiments done under vacuum.

* University officials and special guests will dedicate Jorgensen Hall beginning at 4 p.m. on Oct. 29. Alumnus and Nobel laureate Alan Heeger will offer a short talk, which will be streamed live at http://physics.unl.edu. A special "extreme" ribbon cutting also is planned. Guided tours and a reception will follow.

* The department will host an open house and tailgate party two and a half hours before the Missouri-Nebraska kickoff on Oct. 30. Guided tours are planned, along with Professor Timothy Gay's popular "Football Physics" presentation.