Since the advent of nuclear science as a discipline, nuclear-related advances have revolutionized the technical and public domains. Although these advances have always been able to stand on their own merits, in a historical context, their acclaim has been maximized when they have played a supporting role integrated into another discipline. The roles that nuclear science has played in the military, commercial power, and health care domains are examples of this principle. Nowadays, as fields of technology expand in new ways (e.g., materials science, supercomputing), the role of nuclear science has changed from being a supporting cast member to being a lead, with other fields in a supporting role. Dr. Williams highlights the areas of nuclear science research where this transition has already taken place and identifies the areas of research where this transition is imminent. He gives particular attention to the practical utility of this research in the technical and public domains, and in doing so, presents the new face of nuclear research.
Dwight Williams is a Senior Science Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy. He also serves as a Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a Discovery Channel/Science Channel television personality. Prior to his current positions, he served as a Visiting Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT and a Chief Engineer/Principal Nuclear Physicist at the U.S. Department of Defense.
This lecture was given at the Linda Hall Library, Kansas City, Missouri on October 20th 2010