Nobel Laureate and Guggenheim Fellow in Physics
Los Angeles, California -- April 8, 1999 -- Nobel Laureate and Guggenhiem Fellow Steven Chu will speak on the topic, "Holding on to Atoms and Molecules With Laser Light," at California State University, Los Angeles' 16th Annual Leon Pape Memorial Lecture. The presentation, sponsored by the Cal State L.A. Department of Physics and Astronomy, is free to the public and will be held on Friday, April 16, 1999, beginning at 2 p.m. in Physical Sciences, room 158, on the Cal State L.A. campus.
Steven Chu is an atomic physicist who received the Nobel Prize for his pioneering use of laser beams to slow atoms and molecules so that they could be trapped in a small space. Because temperature is a manifestation of atomic or molecular motion, this trapping is a cooling effect. He and his students have since extended this technique to biological molecules, including DNA.
Dr. Chu began his research career at the former Bell Laboratories, following graduate study and postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley. His early work involved the use of lasers in spectroscopy, studying the energy states of bound electron - positron pairs. In 1985, he and his group developed methods of trapping atoms with light beams, and applied them to the trapping of microscopic particles suspended in water, a technique now called "laser tweesers" in biological research. In 1987, Dr. Chu joined the Stanford faculty, where he has advanced laser cooling techniques to include atomic interferometry and frequency standards.
At Stanford, Dr. Chu has served on major school and university committees and as a member of the Academic Senate. He chaired the Department of Physics from 1990 to 1993, and is now co-chair of a planning committee for an interdisciplinary institute in which biological and medical sciences will be combined with the physical sciences of engineering.
Prior to the Nobel Prize, Dr. Chu's honors included the Broida Prize for Spectroscopy (American Physical Society, 1987), the Richtmyer Memorial Lectureship (American Association of Physics Teachers, 1990), the Schawlow Prize for Laser Science (American Physical Society, 1994), the Meggers award for Laser Spectroscopy (Optical Society of America, 1994), and the Science for Art Prize (Louis Vuitton-MoÃ«t Hennessy, 1995). He received a Humboldt Senior Scientist Award in 1995 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, Academia Sinica, and the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology.
The lecture series, honoring the late Leon Pape, a member of the Cal State L.A. Physics Department faculty from 1961 to 1971, brings Nobel Prize winners and distinguished experts in the science field to the campus. Past speakers have included Nobel Laureates Rosalyn S. Yalow, William A. Fowler, Linus Pauling, Hans A. Bethe, Leon M. Lederman, Francis H.C. Crick, and F. Sherwood Rowland.
For more information, call the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-2100.
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