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Issue 2, Volume 2
December 2008


Happy Holidays from the Physics Department!

Steven Chu Named Energy Secretary

By now, you've probably heard all about the appointment by Barack Obama of Dr. Steven Chu, Physics Professor at Cal and Lawrence Berkeley Lab Director, to Energy Secretary. Chu received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1976, and he returned as Professor and Lab Director in 2004. He received the Nobel Prize in 1997 for the "development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light," and he now works tirelessly in pursuit of "green" technologies. We are proud of our affiliation with Dr. Chu and delighted that a physicist will play such an important role in Washington, DC.

To learn more about Dr. Chu, his past and current work, visit the following websites:

Cal website

Lab website

NY Times website

Nobel website


International Collaborations Answer Questions About the Universe

In search of answers about the beginning and fate of the universe is Nobel Laureate George Smoot, who was recently named Director for the Institute for the Early Universe in Seoul, Korea and a visiting scholar at Ewha (eee-hua) Womans University, the largest women's university in the world. As Director of the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics, he recognizes the need for collaboration in both research and the educating of teachers. Among many important initiatives of the BCCP, the Global Teachers' Academy will become a significant program in Korea, thanks to Smoot's leadership. Read more.

Hitoshi Murayama of the Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics (BCTP) is also the Director of the Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo. Both the BCTP and the IPMU are searching for answers to the same kind of questions: "How did the universe begin? What is it made of? What is its ultimate fate?" Led by Murayama, collaborations in research and exchanges of faculty and students between the two universities, both considered to be two of the greatest state-funded universities in the world, will bring us answers to these questions. Read more.


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