Published April 25, 2022
M. Stanley Whittingham, winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, will deliver the UB Department of Physics’ 7th Ta-You Wu Memorial Lecture on April 29.
Whittingham is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering at Binghamton University, and director of the NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage there. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with John B. Goodenough and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries. His talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “The Lithium Battery: From a Dream to Readiness to Take on Climate Change.”
Whittingham’s lecture will take place at 5 p.m. in 225 Natural Sciences Complex, North Campus.
“Climate change is probably one of the greatest challenges of our time,” says UB physics professor Peihong Zhang, who helped organize Whittingham’s visit and the lecture. “Combating climate change would require a dramatic shift in our energy consumption from fossil fuels to carbon-free renewable energy, and battery technology plays a key role in future widespread adoption of renewable energy.
“Dr. Whittingham’s original research on the lithium battery not only enables mobile communication (e.g., cell phones) and computing (laptops),” Zhang says, “but may also become a critical component in tackling climate change.”
The Ta-You Wu Lecture Series was established through an endowment in remembrance of Wu, who served as a UB physics faculty member from 1966-78, and department chair from 1966-69.
“Distinguished scientists from all over the world have presented in the past editions of this public lecture. We are organizing the seventh Wu Lecture after a pause of two years due to the pandemic,” says Sambandamurthy Ganapathy, professor and chair of the physics department.
Born in China in 1907, Wu completed undergraduate study at Nankai University and received his PhD in 1933 from the University of Michigan. He was one of the leading atomic and nuclear physicists of his generation, with an international career spanning extraordinarily difficult times in Chinese and world history. He was a renowned educator who inspired generations of physics students. He also made significant contributions to the science and technology development in Taiwan.
The endowment for the Wu lectureship was established by Y.C. Lee, a longtime colleague and close friend of Wu, and has received contributions from many donors.