The Katzenstein Distinguished Lecture Series

Katzenstein Distinguished lecture series is made possible by a generous endowment established in the Fall of 1996 by Dr. Henry S. Katzenstein. The Katzenstein Endowment in Physics not only provides for this distinguished lecture series, but makes permanent the Katzenstein Prize in Physics. Invitations to the lecture and banquet following are sent out late summer or early fall, depending on the date, to members and friends of the department, as well as to our alumni.

In 1951, Henry S. Katzenstein presented his military discharge papers to the University of Connecticut together with a list of courses taken at Duke and the University of Chicago. Within a year he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Connecticut and by 1954 he earned the first Ph.D. degree awarded by the Physics Department. It would appear that Connecticut’s agricultural heritage also had its influence: in addition to holding a key patent used for reading information from compact discs and co-founding Brooktree Corporation, his greenhouses provide a significant fraction of the vegetable seedlings set out on California farms.

In describing Henry Katzenstein, the late department head, Harold P. Knauss, wrote in 1956, “He is outstanding in electronic skill. His interests are deeper than just getting apparatus to work, and even as a graduate student he discussed scientific problems with members of our staff from an unusually mature and critical point of view. He is articulate, friendly, cooperative, and pleasant to have around. He doesn’t wait for others to tell him what to do, nor does he take a domineering attitude toward others. I am sure you will like him as a physicist and as a person.”

In 1987, Drs. Henry S. and Constance A. Katzenstein sponsored a reunion of our graduates, including dinner and the Stephen S. Friedland Memorial Lecture, given by Nobel Laureate Nicolaas Bloembergen. In 1990, Dr. Katzenstein helped us to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of graduate studies at the University of Connecticut when he gave a well received lecture “The Physics of the Compact Disc.”

Previous Katzenstein Distinguished Lecturers:

  • 2015: Serge Haroche, Nobel Laureate, Collège de France
  • 2014: David Wineland, Nobel Laureate, NIST
  • 2013: David Lee, Nobel Laureate, Texas A&M
  • 2012: Roy Glauber, Nobel Laureate, Harvard University
  • 2011: Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel Laureate, Universiteit Utrecht
  • 2010: David Gross, Nobel Laureate, University of California Santa Barbara
  • 2009: Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Laureate, Harvard University
  • 2007: John Mather, Nobel Laureate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • 2006: Wolfgang Ketterle, Nobel Laureate, MIT
  • 2005: Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate, MIT
  • 2004: Anthony J. Leggett, Nobel Laureate, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • 2003: Norman F. Ramsey, Nobel Laureate, Harvard University
  • 2002: Eric A. Cornell, Nobel Laureate, NIST
  • 2001: Alan J. Heeger, Nobel Laureate, University of California Santa Barbara
  • 2000: Jerome I. Friedman, Nobel Laureate, MIT
  • 1999: Horst L. Stoermer, Nobel Laureate, Columbia University
  • 1998: William D. Phillips, Nobel Laureate, NIST
  • 1997: David M. Lee, Nobel Laureate, Cornell University