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Houston Lectures

William Vermillion Houston (pronounced 'How-stun') was called to the Rice Institute from the California Institute of Technology in 1946 to become its second president. Also a professor of physics, he remained active in teaching and research, continuing a distinguished career in spectroscopy and solid-state physics. Houston created an atmosphere conducive to growth and excellence, not only in physics, but in the university as a whole until his death in 1968. This annual lectureship is a tribute to him by his many friends and colleagues at Rice and in the physics community who wish to commemorate his insight, wisdom and compassion.

41.  Alan H. Guth
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Inflationary Cosmology: Is Our Universe Part of a Multiverse?
April 20, 2016
40. Naomi J. Halas
William Rice University
Optics at the Nanoscale: Shedding Light on Cross-cutting Science and Technologies
January 23, 2014
39. Paul Grannis
Stony Brook University
The Age of Big Science
October 29, 2012
38. José Onuchic
University of California at San Diego
Molecular Machines of Life
November 18, 2010
37. Zachary Fisk
University of California at Irvine
The New Superconductors
April 19, 2010
36. Watt W. Webb
Cornell University
Molecular Dynamics Underlying Life Processes
April 16, 2009
35. George Smoot
Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory
The History And Fate of the Universe or CSI Rice
March 17, 2008
34. Frank Wilczek
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Universe is a Strange Place
March 26, 2007

33. Eric Cornell
JILA, NIST, University of Colorado
Stone Cold Science: Bose-Einstein Condensation and the Weird World of Physics a Millionth of a Degree from Absolute Zero
February 21, 2006

32. Patrick A. Lee
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Unconventional Superconductivity and Magnetism
November 2, 2005

31. Steven Chu
Stanford University
Holding on to Atoms and Molecules with Lasers:
From Atomic Clocks to Watching Biomolecules Move

April 10, 2004

30. Michael Turner
University of Chicago
In the Beginning
April 10, 2003

29. Douglas D. Osheroff
Stanford University
The Key to Discovery
February 11, 2002

28. William D. Phillips
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Almost Absolute Zero: The Story of Laser Cooling and Trapping
February 6, 2001

27. James W. Cronin
University of Chicago
Eighty-five Years of Cosmic Ray Research: A Human and Scientific Drama
January 24, 2000

26. William Happer
Princeton University
Medical Imaging with Laser-Polarized Spins: an Improbable Spinoff of Basic Research
March 16, 1999

25. Paul C. W. Chu
University of Houston
The Path of Zero Resistance: From 4K to 164K
March 3, 1998

24. Anthony J. Leggett
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Superfluids-Order Out of Chaos
January 27, 1997

23. John J. Hopfield
California Institute of Technology
Neurobiology and Network Computation
April 15, 1996

22. Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
College de France
Manipulating Atoms with Light
April 17, 1995

21. Denys Wilkinson
Oxford University
The Universe: Are We Here by Chance?
March 14, 1994

20. Mildred S. Dresselhaus
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Frontiers of Materials Research
January 13, 1993

19. Daniel Kleppner
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In Pursuit of Very Cold Hydrogen
January 20, 1992

18. Victor F. Weisskopf
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Origin of the Universe
January 14, 1991

17. Charles H. Townes
University of California
What's Happening at the Center of Our Galaxy
April 4, 1990

16. Val L. Fitch
Princeton University
SDI and the American Physical Society
March 13, 1989

15. Willis E. Lamb, Jr.
University of Arizona
Some Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics
March 7, 1988

14. Walter Kohn
University of California, Santa Barbara
The University and the Nuclear Predicament
March 23, 1987

13. Leon M. Lederman
Fermi National Laboratory & Columbia University
Inner Space / Outer Space
March 18, 1986

12. Chen-Ning Yang
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Symmetry and Physics
September 28, 1983

11. Robert R. Wilson
Columbia University
Art, Architecture and Physics at Fermilab
March 17, 1983

10. Rudolf E. Peierls
Oxford University
Recollections of the Early Days of Quantum Mechanics
March 10, 1981

9. John A. Wheeler
University of Texas at Austin
Einstein and the Mystery of the Quantum
March 12, 1980

8. 1979 Norman F. Ramsey

7. 1978 Arthur L. Schawlow

6. 1977 William A. Fowler

5. 1976 Freeman Dyson

4. 1975 Edward M. Purcell

3. 1974 Hans A. Bethe

2. 1973 Eugene Wigner

1. 1972 Felix Bloch