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20th Annual Bill Fairbank Memorial Run/Walk/Bike

March 7, 2009 - 12:00pm
Rodin Sculpture Garden (corner of Roth Way and Lomita Drive)

No entry fee!
Free refreshments!

The winner, as in years past, will be the runner, walker, bicyclist, etc. whose actual time is (fractionally) closest to his or her predicted time. (Of course, all watches are retained by the starter; or leave your watches at home.) 
The runners and walkers can take Roth Way to the Campus Drive-Junipero Serra loop (4.2 miles), while the bicyclists can use a loop out to Arastradero Rd. on Alpine Rd., returning via Page Mill Rd (11.5 miles). However, you may use any route and mode of transport. 
The winner's name will appear on a plaque displayed outside the Physics Dept. main office. Volunteers (especially timers) will be needed. If you have any questions, please contact Rosenna Yau ( or Bob Wagoner (
An avid runner and an inspiring person, Bill Fairbank was Professor of Physics from 1959 until his death in 1989.  This is an event sponsored by the Physics Department and is open to the general public.  All are welcome!

Doesn't matter whether you choose to run, walk, bike, roller skate or whatever mode of transportation, start your training now.  Login to the new BeWell@Stanford to: 

Achieve your Goals (finally stick to your Resolutions!) using....

  • goal tracking tools and charts
  • email and text message reminders and support system

Many thanks go to Rosenna Yau for providing food, drink, and timing, Mrs. Frankie Beauley for timing, Maria Frank for help with the flyer design, and Elizabeth Noronha for support in ordering the T-shirts. Many thanks also to Bill and Mary Fairbank for leading the design of the T-shirt. Its explanation, provided by Francis Everitt, can be found below these results. 

  Participant   Predicted
Actual Difference
1 Todd Smith walk 61:00 61:04 +0.11
2 Lucy Zhou bike 43:50 43:38 -0.46
3 Brian Heffner same bike 43:50 43:38 -0.46
4 Sandy Smith walk 61:30 61:05 -0.68
5 Ashley Webb run 35:48 35:31 -0.79
6 Beth Nowadnick run 33:00 32:41 -0.96
7 Pat Burchat run 38:45 38:22 -0.99
8 Bob Wagoner bike 54:44 54:11 -1.01
9 Roger W. Romani bike 20:00 20:31 +2.58
10 Bart Horn run 29:58 29:10 -2.67
11 Li Zhang run 39:48 40:52 +2.68
12 Ray Madarang run 38:00 36:44 -3.33
13 Zach Scheiner run 35:55 37:09 +3.43
14 Keith Bechtol run 38:00 36:28 -4.04
15 David Beauley run 25:30 24:26 -4.18
16 Terry Martin run 48:00 50:06 +4.38
17 Janet Tang run 45:00 42:49 -4.85
18 Roger Blandford run 33:00 31:23 -4.90
19 Jim Lockhart run 47:00 49:51 +6.06
20 Laurel Scotland-Stewart bike 60:00 56:19 -6.14
21 Victoria Rafalski run 39:45 37:09 -6.54
22 Barry Muhlfelder run 40:00 36:41 -8.29
23 T.J. Bay bike 62:00 56:21 -9.11
24 Manny Fassihi run 29:00 26:00 -10.34
25 Mark Rubin run 43:08 38:26 -10.90
26 Jodi Cooley bike 65:00 57:01 -12.28
27 Vanessa Mitchell run 40:00 35:04 -12.33
28 Steve Sekula bike 65:00 56:46 -12.67
29 Wells Wulsin run 26:30 22:49 -13.90
30 Bill Fairbank, Jr. walk 66:32 76:41 +15.26
31 Samantha run 63:00 72:46 +15.50
32 Leo Gomez run 35:00 40:35 +15.95
33 Mark Gondek run 46:00 38:12 -16.96
34 Patriun Nguyen run 45:00 36:50 -18.15
35 Yorgos Sofianatos bike 64:00 51:27 -19.61
36 Heidi Wu walk 80:00 60:19 -24.60
37 Mary Fairbank run 53:00 66:06 +24.72
38 Xi Wang run 40:00 29:44 -25.67
39 Vahe, Lucas, Sky  bike 29:30 37:18 +26.44
40 Jen Dolson run 45:00 58:13 +29.37
41 Ginny Sung walk 90:00 60:19 -32.98
42 Ellen Childress run 43:15 58:12 +34.57
43 Francis Everitt run,walk 52:00 72:46 +39.94
44 Brandon Beauley run 36:30 63:40 +74.43
45 MaryLou Holding        
Results certified by R.V. Wagoner Enterprises, Ltd.

The image on the back of the 20th Annual William Martin Fairbank Memorial Run/Walk/Bike T-Shirt is a 10 times full-scale reproduction of the Fairbank Tie Tack fabricated in 1968. It combines four images representing four different areas of physics to which Bill Fairbank made critical contributions:
1) Top left: The London moment in a spinning superconducting sphere. A spinning superconductor develops a magnetic moment aligned with its instantaneous spin axis. This effect, first half-predicted by R. Becker, F. Zauter and G. Heller in 1933, was investigated theoretically by Fritz London in 1948, and then simultaneously discovered in 1964 by three groups, M. Bol and Fairbank at Stanford, A. F. Hildebrandt at Texas A&M, and J. B. Hendricks, A. King, and H. E. Rorschach at Rice University. Bol and Fairbank's work led directly to the use of the London moment to read out the direction of spin of the Gravity Probe B gyroscopes.
2) Center horizontal: The three equal length bars represent three sections of the Superconducting Accelerator (SCA) built in HEPL in the 1960s. The idea of the SCA grew out of Bill's 1948 Yale University Ph.D. research on properties of high-Q superconducting cavities. The first 180 ft long room temperature electron linear accelerator was built in HEPL in 1947. It led to a decade of very productive research, including Hofstadter's crucial measurements of nuclear form factors. It led in turn to the building of SLAC. Because of heating in the copper resonant cavities, room temperature accelerators can only operate with a 0.1% duty cycle. Bill recognized that high-Q superconducting cavities could allow continuous operation. A 120 ft long accelerator was built in HEPL under Alan Schwettman's leadership with John Turneaure being responsible for development of cavities with Q's as high as 10^11. The Stanford SCA was finally transposed into a Free Electron Laser with the help of Todd Smith. Applications of similar principles to nuclear physics have been developed elsewhere at DESY in Germany, and the Jefferson Laboratory in Virginia. 

3) Peaked curve extending upwards in upper right quadrant: This illustrates the Lambda point transition in specific heat from normal to superfluid helium. Prior to 1956, it had been measured with an accuracy of 10^-3K. Within that accuracy, it was known to obey a logarithmic discontinuity above and below the lambda point. In 1955, there was a famous dispute between Blatt, Butler, and Schafroth who argued that the curve would be rounded closer in than 10^-3K, and Feynman who bet that there will be no rounding within 10^-5K. One of Bill's most famous experiments followed, co-performed with M. J. Buckingham and C. F. Kellers in 1957. They demonstrated that the logarithmic discontinuity held to within 10^-6K. Their work was further brilliantly extended by John Lipa in a 1992 Shuttle-based space experiment achieving nano-Kelvin accuracy. 

4) Expression hc/2e: This represents the discovery in 1961, separately by R. Doll and M. Nabauer in Germany and Bascom Deaver and Bill at Stanford, of quantized magnetic flux in superconductors. Fritz London had tentatively predicted flux quantization in 1948 with a suggested value of hc/e. Prior to the experiment, Lars Onsager, in conversations with Bill, had conjectured that the true result might be hc/2e, and that was the result which Bascom and Bill, unlike Doll and Nabauer, actually found. Thereafter, it was interesting to see how many theorists claimed to have known it all along, though it is not always easy to find their published statements prior to the experiment. Quantized magnetic flux, in combination with Brian Josephson's brilliant prediction of quantum mechanical tunneling (the Josephson effect) led in turn to the SQUID magnetometers vitally important in many experiments including the GP-B gyroscope readout.
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