Commemorating Physics History

Nov 07, 2011, 13:52 ET from University of the District of Columbia

UDC Site is Where Significant Discovery Was Made 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the 1950s, the site in the Van Ness neighborhood of Northwest that is now home to the University of the District of Columbia, contained facilities for the former National Bureau of Standards (now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology).  In 1956, a team of researchers made a discovery that revolutionized modern understanding of natural law.


It was in a research laboratory on the Van Ness campus that physicists C-S Wu, Ernest Ambler, Raymond W. Hayward, Dale D. Hoppes, and Ralph P. Hudson performed an experiment that changed everything.  Their experiment revealed that, in certain nuclear processes, pairs of events characterized as mirror images of each other occur with different probabilities.  This reversal of parity law shattered a fundamental concept of nuclear physics that had been universally accepted for the previous 30 years.  It thus cleared the way for a reconsideration of physical theories and led to new, far-reaching discoveries regarding the nature of matter and the universe.

On Wednesday, November 9th, Dr. Kate P. Kirby, Executive Officer of the American Physical Society, will present a plaque commemorating this historic discovery.  University of the District of Columbia President Dr. Allen L. Sessoms, himself a nuclear physicist, will accept the plaque, designating the site as a "Historic Physics Site."

"There is a proud history on this campus," said Dr. Sessoms.  "It's a history that evolves as we continue building up the great public university that exists here now."

WHAT:  American Physical Society Plaque Presentation

WHEN:  Wednesday, November 9, 201111:30 AM

WHERE:  University of the District of Columbia – Administration Building
               Third Floor Board Room
               4200 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC

As the only urban land-grant institution in the United States, the University of the District of Columbia ( supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across all member colleges and schools, which include the Community College, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, College Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and David A. Clarke School of Law.

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University's EO Policy Statement, please visit:

The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education - 3624 Market Street - Philadelphia, PA 19104 - (267) 284–5000

CONTACT: Alan Etter (202) 345-6371

SOURCE University of the District of Columbia