Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Nobel Laureate Steven Chu Appointed as US ENERGY Secretary: President Obama Putting BRAINS ahead of Politics for his new Government
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President-elect Barack Obama nominated Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu for Energy Secretary.

Obama said during a Chicago press conference Monday:
"(Steven Chu's) appointment should send a signal to all that my administration will value SCIENCE. We will make decisions based on facts, and we understand that the facts demand bold action.

The team that I have assembled here today is uniquely suited to meet the great challenges of this defining moment.

They are leading experts and accomplished managers, and they are ready to reform government and help transform our economy so that our people are more prosperous, our nation is more secure, and our planet is protected....."
Obama stressed the importance of energy and climate policy to the nation's economy and security.

Chu is considered an outspoken advocate for scientific solutions to the twin problems of global warming and the need for carbon neutral renewable sources of energy. He has called these problems "the greatest challenge facing science."

Chu had argued,

"The ominous signs of climate change we see today are a warning of dire economic and social consequences for us all, but especially for the poor of the world.

The path to finding solutions is to bring together the finest, most passionate minds to work on the problem in a coordinated effort, and to give these researchers the resources commensurate with the challenge."
Chu's appointment has won wide praise across industries and party lines. Current Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said in a statement that Chu "understands the significance of our energy and environmental challenges, and more importantly, understands the technical solutions necessary to address them. . . . I hold him in the highest regard."

Alan Nogee, who directs the Clean Energy Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has accused the administration of silencing and overruling scientists in policy-making, said,

"It's such an incredible contrast, compared to the years of darkness under the current administration, to see a scientist in such a position of authority and influence in the Cabinet. It's night and day."
Reid Detchon, executive director of the nonpartisan Energy Future Coalition, which advocates for renewable energy, said he expected Chu to be the first in a succession of "FIRST RATE SCIENTISTS" to advise Obama and help restore what he calls eight years of damage to the "scientific apparatus" of the federal government.

Steven Chu is the Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is among the quartet of appointments that also includes:
  1. former Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner as a coordinator of energy and climate policy,

  2. former New Jersey environmental protection commissioner Lisa Jackson as EPA director and

  3. Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Nancy Sutley to run the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
With this team, some environmentalists and former federal research scientists expect Obama's White House to break from what they view as the Bush administration's record of overlooking science in favor of politics.

Environmental groups lauded the appointees for their commitment to alternative fuels and fighting global warming. They welcomed them as symbols of science ascendant.


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  • In comparison, here is the background of our very own high profile academician and professor's BRILLIANT achievement in Malaysia. CLICK HERE

Steven Chu is the Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University.

Professor Chu's research is primarily in atomic physics, quantum electronics, polymer and bio-physics. He became the sixth director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on August 1, 2004.

His thesis and postdoctoral work at Berkeley, the observation of parity non-conservation in atomic transitions in 1978, was one of the earliest atomic physics confirmations of the Weinberg-Salam-Glashow theory that unifies the weak and electromagnetic forces. In 1985, he led the group that showed how to first cool and then trap atoms with light.

After joining the Stanford Physics Department in 1987, Chu (and independently, Dalibard and Cohen-Tannoudji) explained how multi-level atoms can be cooled far below the minimum temperature predicted by the theory of two-level atoms. His group also demonstrated the first atomic fountain and then made the first atomic fountain frequency standard to exceed the short term stability of atomic clocks maintained by standards laboratories. They developed a novel atom interferometer that has already exceeded the accuracy of the most accurate commercial inertial sensors.

Chu developed methods to simultaneously visualize and manipulate single bio-molecules. Using this new technique, his group have used single DNA molecules to address a number of problems in polymer science.

Steven Chu has been awarded the:

  1. Herbert Broida Prize for Spectroscopy (American Physical Society, 1987)

  2. Richtmyer Memorial Prize Lecturer (APS/AAPT, 1990),

  3. co-winner of the King Faisal International Prize for Science (1993),

  4. Arthur Schawlow Prize for Laser Science (APS, 1994),

  5. William Meggers Award for Laser Spectroscopy (Optical Society of America, 1994),

  6. Science for Art Prize (Louis Vitton - Möet Hennesey, 1995), and

  7. Humboldt Senior Scientist award (1995) and

  8. Guggenheim Fellowship (1996).

  9. co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics (1997).
He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Academica Sinica.

He is also a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Korean Academy of Science and Engineering.

Academic Career

Theodore and Francis Geballe Professor of Physics and Applied Physics
Physics Department, Stanford University, Stanford CA 94305-4060


A.B., Mathematics, University of Rochester, 1970
B.S., Physics, University of Rochester, 1970
Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1976


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of California at Berkeley, 1976-1978

Member of Technical Staff, Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, 1978-1983

Head, Quantum Electronics Research Department, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, 1983-1987
Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Stanford University, 1987-present

Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, 1990

Chair of the Physics Dept., Stanford Univ., 1990-1993, 1999-2000
Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2004

Visiting Lectureships:

Morris Loeb Lecturer, Harvard University, 1988
Special Visitor to JILA, 1989, 1999
Visiting Professor, Collège de France, 1990

Scientific Interests and current areas of research:

Parity non-conservation in atoms
Excitons, energy transfer in solids and Anderson localization
Picosecond spectroscopy
Positronium and muonium spectroscopy
Laser cooling and trapping of atoms, atom interferometry
Polymer physics


Stoddard Prize in Mathematics, Univ. of Rochester, 1968
Phi Beta Kappa, 1969
Stoddard Prize in Physics, Univ. of Rochester, 1970
Woodrow Wilson Fellow, 1970
National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, 1970-74
National Science Postdoctoral Fellow, 1977-78
Broida Prize for Laser Spectroscopy, (Am. Phys. Soc.) 1987
Richtmyer Memorial Prize Lecturer (Am. Phys. Soc./Am Assoc. Phys.Teachers) 1990
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1992
King Faisal International Prize for Science, 1993
Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1993
Member, Academica Sinica, 1994
Arthur Schawlow Prize for Laser Science, (Am. Phys. Soc.) 1994
William F. Meggers Award for Spectroscopy, (Opt. Soc. of Am.) 1994
Distinguished Traveling Lecturer, Am. Phys. Soc. Division of Laser Science, 1994-96
Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, 1995
Science for Art Prize (Sponsored by LVMH), 1995
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1996
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1997
Member of the American Philosophical Society, 1998
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Foreign Member,1998
Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology, Foreign member, 1998

Partial List of Professional Service:

Chair, Am. Phys. Soc. Division of Laser Science, 1989-90
Associate Editor, Optics Letters, 1989-96
Member of the NSF Physics Advisory Committee, 1990-93
Member of the NAS Committee on Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 1992-94
Quantum Electronics Representative of the Int. Union of Pure and Applied Scientists, 1993-95
Member, NAS study on "Free Electron Lasers", 1993-94
Member, NAS study on "Optical Science and Engineering", 1995-96
Member, Executive Committee, NAS Board on Physics and Astronomy, 1996-99
Editorial board member, Biophysical Journal, 1998-present
Member, NIH Advisory Committee to the Director, 1999-present

Partial List of Stanford University Service:

Appointments and Promotions Committee, School of Humanities and Sciences, 1989-90, 1995-96
Cabinet Committee on Budget and Strategic Planning, 1990-92
Presidential Search Committee, 1991-92
School of Humanities and Sciences Academic Council, 1993-present
Academic Senate, 1993-94, 1995-98
Provostial Committee on the Recruitment and Retention of Women, 1992-94
Member of Committee on Committees, 1993-94, 1997-98
Executive member of Bio-X planning committee, 1998-present

Other Activities:

Chair of the Physics Dept. Visiting Committee, Ecole Normale Superieur, 1999
Chair of the Physics Dept. Visiting Committee, Harvard University, 1999
Board of Trustees member, University of Rochester
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of SEQ, LTD (Biotech company)
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Cell Robotics (Biotech company)
Visiting Committee, Physics Department, Harvard University, 1992, 1995
Visiting Committee, Physics Department, Yale University, 1996.

Publications by Steven Chu (read here the long list)


The Malaysian Explorer said...

Wow such a long list of laurels. I wonder where he would be if he's in Malaysia?

The Malaysian Explorer

Yap Chong Yee said...

Hey you crazy Malaysians are not trying to compare the achievements of Pro. Chu with one in Malaysia I hopr !