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Stanford Report, October 3, 2001

Steven Chu

Steven Chu, the Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor of Physics and Applied Physics; at Stanford 1987-present. Awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William D. Phillips "for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light."

Since receiving the prize, Chu has continued his studies of laser cooling and trapping of atoms and their applications. He also has expanding his research scope to include polymer physics and biophysics at the single-molecule level. As virtually all knowledge of chemical and biochemical processes has been deduced from experiments on bulk samples of molecules, looking at individual molecules - such as those involved in DNA replication, RNA transcription and protein folding - may elucidate their complex behavior. Chu served as chair of the Physics Department from 1990 to 1993 and from 1999 to September 2001 and is a member of the executive committee for Bio-X, an interdisciplinary research initiative at Stanford.



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