Steven Chu, Stanford University, USA
Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Physics and Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. His research program encompasses atomic physics, quantum electronics, energy and energy economics, and biophysics and biomedicine that tests fundamental theories in physics, the development of methods to laser cool and trap atoms, atom interferometry, and the study of polymers and biological systems at the single molecule level. For his work developing the theory of laser cooling of atoms, he was co-recipient the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.
From January 2009 until April 2013, Dr. Chu served as the 12th
U.S. Secretary of Energy, being the first scientist to hold a cabinet position. During his tenure, he began several innovative clean energy initiatives and was personally tasked by President Obama to assist BP in stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and to assist the Government of Japan with the tsunami-damaged nuclear reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi. Before his cabinet appointment he was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley; director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and, prior to that, the Theodore and Francis Geballe Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University. Dr. Chu began his career as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, including serving as head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department. He earned both a BS in physics and an AB in mathematics from the University of Rochester and a PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Chu is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Academia Sinica. He holds 10 patents and has published more than 250 scientific and technical papers. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he has won dozens of awards, including the Science for Art Prize, the Herbert Broida Prize for Spectroscopy, the King Faisal International Prize for Science, the Arthur Schawlow Prize for Laser Science, and the William Meggers Award for Laser Spectroscopy, and holds 23 honorary degrees.