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Paynesville Press - October 10, 2001

Physics students attend Nobel Conference

By Michael Jacobson

Eight physics students from Paynesville Area High School had a chance to listen to three Nobel Laureates last week at the Nobel Conference© at Gustavus Aldophus College in St. Peter, Minn.

Jay Thompson's physics class took a field trip to the Nobel Conference© on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The conference was celebrating 100 years of Nobel prizes and examining what science and technology would produce in the 21st Century.

The students heard three Nobel Laureates: Edmond H. Fischer, the 1992 Laureate in Physiology/ Medicine; Roald Hoffman, the 1981 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; and Gčnter Blobel, the 1999 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine.

An impressive part of the conference was seeing 5,000 intent listeners, many taking notes, said Thompson.

The speakers recounted their work and further discoveries in their field, which was at a very advanced level. "I found out how little I know on a field I thought I knew a lot about," said Josh Price.

"Scientists don't try to win the Nobel prize like Olympians do," added Price. "They do experiments and see if people notice."

"The speaker's knowledge was way above mine, and it is nice to know that there are smart people out there making these medical advances," said Stephanie Thomsen.

Physics students attending the conference were: Robert Bartell, Laurie Barten, Ryan Glenz, Rachel Koehn, Clint Ness, Josh Price, Stephanie Thomsen, and Joel Younkin.

"This was an enlightening experience for the students and myself," said Thompson. "Most of the material goes right over my head, but I was able to catch some of it."

The group also toured the Gustavus campus (getting a hometown guide in junior Kurt Habben), including the science laboratories, dormitories, and the student center.

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