Claude Cohen-Tannoudji


Interview, June 2009

Interview with the 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, 12 June 2009. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Editor-in-Chief of

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji discusses the special atmosphere of the College de Paris where he has worked for 31 years, his early education in Algiers and his memories of World War II (6:50), the value of learning that his father instilled (15:34), and his current educational scheme to bring research into schools (18:53). He also describes working in the newly formed lab of Alfred Kastler (23:40), the two times when teaching was especially important to his own research (42:39), the race to use light to make colder atoms (51:12), how the atom’s energy level is comparable to the myth of Sisyphus (52:12), and the ways in which being awarded the Prize has changed his life (59:30).

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