The lecture, geared toward a lay audience, will be the fourth in the Rustgi Memorial Lecture series. Free and open to the public, it will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Room 201 of the Natural Sciences Complex.
The lecture will review the history of the quest to learn how the world works, starting with the origins of science in the ancient Greek town of Miletus and proceeding through the Standard Model of quarks and leptons to the union of particle physics and cosmology.
Lederman, now director emeritus of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., is internationally renowned for four decades of groundbreaking work in particle physics.
In 1961, his research group discovered the muon neutrino, which provided the first proof that there was more than one type of neutrino. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics for this work in 1988.
In 1977, his group discovered evidence for a new elementary particle, called the bottom quark.
A broad spectrum of innovative experiments he led at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermilab and the CERN Laboratory in Geneva have set the paradigm for modern nuclear physics and particle-physics research.
In addition to his research achievements, Lederman is known for his efforts to improve the teaching of science at the college, high-school and elementary-school levels.
He organized the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a three-year residence public high school for gifted children and the Teachers' Academy of Mathematics and Science in Chicago.
While Director of Fermilab, Lederman opened the laboratory to countries not previously associated with high-energy physics, especially those in Latin America.
Lederman also is Pritzker Professor of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He was professor of physics at Columbia University from 1958 to 1989 and the Frank L. Sulzberger Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago from 1989 to 1991.
He has served as chairman and past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science, the Wolf Prize in Physics and the Enrico Fermi Award.
The Rustgi Memorial Lecture is supported by contributions from the Rustgi family and their friends to honor the late Moti Lal Rustgi, who was a faculty member in the Department of Physics.