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03/02/93

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Physicist Steve Chu wins King Faisal International Prize

STANFORD -- Steven Chu, chairman of Stanford's Department of Physics and an expert in quantum optics, is a co-winner of the King Faisal International Prize, awarded by the government of Saudi Arabia.

He shares the prize with Herbert Walther, director of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and a professor at the University of Munich.

Chu and Walther each will receive approximately $93,000, a gold medal and a trip to Saudi Arabia for the presentation ceremony.

Chu developed a technique of optical cooling and trapping of atoms and used it to study delicate systems in quantum optics. The citation said "his discovery of new instrumentation and its utilization to expand the frontiers of quantum optics secures him a leading position in his field."

The King Faisal Award is given every year in the fields of science and medicine and in service to Islam. Winners are selected from nominees named by institutions and independent referees. Selection committees in Riyadh then choose the winners based on the referees' reports.

The prize for medicine went to three Frenchmen, Luc Montagnier, Jean-Claude Chermann and Francois Barre-Sinoussi, for their work with the AIDS virus. The award for service to Islam went to Alija Izetbegovic, president of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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