Nobel Week Dialogue

Steven CHU

Nobel Prize in Physics 1997. Steven Chu developed the theory of laser cooling of actual, multilevel atoms and has recently focused on new solutions to our energy and climate challenges.

Former United States Secretary of Energy and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics 1997, Steven Chu has devoted a significant part of his recent scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy and climate challenges.

Chu is currently Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University, California. At Stanford, he developed the theory of laser cooling of actual, multilevel atoms (also developed independently by Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and Jean Dalibard), and demonstrated the first atomic fountain/fountain atomic clock. For this work, he was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics 1997. Since 2000, he has devoted an increasing portion of his scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy and climate challenges.

He was the Secretary of Energy in President Obama’s government from 2009 until 2013. As the first scientist to hold a cabinet position in the United States, he was personally tasked by President Obama to assist BP in stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil leak.

In addition to his work addressing energy and climate change challenges, he has begun a research program developing new nanoparticle probes, improving optical and electron microscope imaging methods, and applying the technology to problems in biology and biomedical research.

More about Steven Chu and the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics.