Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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 Chu

A Scientist's Random Walk: Conversation with Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate, Physics; Geballe Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Stanford University; February 13, 2004, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Steven Chu, who is a Nobel Laureate in Physics and Geballe Professor of Physics at Stanford. He is the 2004 Hitchcock Lecturer on the Berkeley campus.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... education ... family ... high school teachers ... doing experiments and building models ... high school physics and math ... spatial intuition ... college ... applying logic of math to writing
  2. Being a Scientist ... public understanding of science ... Berkeley ... Professor Eugene Cummins ... prerequisites ... driven curiosity ... doggedness ... internal drive ... colleagues' reaction to new discoveries ... collaboration ... learning new fields
  3. Working at Bell Labs and at the University ... from grad student to professor ... opportunity to broaden knowledge at Bell ... mandate to explore new ideas ... magical time ... built-in collaboration
  4. Nobel Research in Physics ... cooling atoms using lasers ... creative moments ... the discovery ... implications of research ... role of technology in research ... example of Charles Townes
  5. Bringing Physics to Biology ... playing with a strand of DNA ... playing with polymers ... molecular individuation ... molecules' "moods" and Brownian motion ... looking beyond the equilibrium model
  6. Conclusion ... random walk ... passion ... open mind

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