Steven Chu

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Primary Section: 13, Physics
Secondary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1993)


Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., professor of Physics, and of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. He has published in atomic, polymer and biophysics, molecular biology, ultrasound imaging, nano-materials science and electrochemistry. Previously he was U.S. Secretary of Energy, where he began ARPA-E, the Energy Innovation Hubs and was tasked by President Obama to assist BP in stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil leak. He was also director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University, where he helped launch Bio-X, a multi-disciplinary institute combining the physical and biological sciences with medicine and engineering, and head of the Quantum Electronics Department at Bell Laboratories. He was past president and chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, served on the Advisory Committee to the Directors of the National Nuclear Security Agency and the National Institutes of Health. Chu was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for laser cooling and trapping of atoms, is a member of the NAS, 8 foreign Academies. He has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Rochester, a Ph.D. in physics from the UC Berkeley and 32 honorary degrees.     

Research Interests

Biophysics, molecular and cell physiology, nanoparticle synthesis and their applications in biology and biomedical imaging, batteries and other applications of electrochemistry.

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