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Posted April 4, 2005


By Anne LaRiviere

How often do people get the chance to meet not only a Nobel prize-winning physicist, but Stephen Hawking, a legendary physicist, best-selling author and Cambridge University professor, all in the same evening?

For three Optimum Performance Institute (OPI) participants, it was a time of goose-bumps and even tears. Bob and I (Dr. Robert Fischer and Anne LaRiviere) are members of the Kavli Institute so we were invited to the reception afterwards and of course took the OPI participants with us.

OPI took these three young women to Santa Barbara, CA, on February 9, to attend a program entitled "Inside the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics: The Ceremony and the Science." The guest speaker, David Gross, Ph.D., is a theoretical physicist who won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for figuring out the nucleus of atoms (how the strong force works to bind quarks to form protons and neutrons). He discussed his research and presented highlights of the Nobel Prize festivities in Stockholm as well as the lecture he gave in Stockholm. He is described as "the most brilliant physicist of his generation."

Gross was introduced by Hawking who received a standing ovation from the audience that filled Santa Barbara's Lobero Theater where the program was held.

At a reception following the program, one of our young women struck up a conversation with Hawking's wife who then insisted that everyone meet her famous husband and take photos. Hawking and Gross are members of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California Santa Barbara where Gross is a professor.

OPI offers a two-phase transitional program for young adults ages 17-25 with services ranging from individualized/group counseling, career counseling and psychotherapy to educational tutoring and organizational support to help residents set goals and decide what they want to do with their lives.

Copyright © 2005, Woodbury Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(This article may not be reproduced without written approval of the publisher.)

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