From the design of lighter-weight bullet-proof vests to understanding meteorite impacts to the quest for sustainable energy through nuclear fusion, a wide variety of innovations have origins in shock physics research—a field in which Washington State University is the academic leader.

Yogendra Gupta.

More than 60 years ago, WSU physicists pioneered U.S. academic research in shock wave compression of condensed matter, theoretical and experimental work that has contributed to innumerable advances in national security, energy, advanced materials, and geo/planetary sciences. On Thursday, Oct. 17, Yogendra Gupta, Regents professor of physics and director of the Institute for Shock Physics, will present an historical overview of the significant scientific activity and achievements of the WSU faculty, staff, and graduate students in this dynamic and exciting field.

Gupta’s address, “Sixty‑plus years of shock wave research and graduate education at Washington State University,” will begin at 4:10 p.m. in Kate B. Webster Physical Sciences Building, room 17, on the WSU Pullman campus. The free, public address will be of interest to physicists and non‑physicists alike.

“Dr. Gupta is internationally renowned for his many innovations and discoveries in shock wave and high pressure research,” said Brian Saam, professor and chair of physics and astronomy at WSU. “He will explain the scientific significance of shock wave research and provide insights about the underlying physics concepts in such a way that even non‑physicists will find compelling.”

Gupta’s is the second Distinguished Colloquium in Physics of 2019–20 and part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy’s year-long 100th anniversary celebration “100 Years of Education, Innovation, and Discovery.”

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