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Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist to Give Two Free Public Talks at UCR April 15

Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist to Give Two Free Public Talks at UCR April 15

(April 14, 1999)

Steven Chu - a Stanford University professor whose innovative techniques of studying individual atoms earned him a share of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics - will deliver two free public lectures on Thursday, April 15, at the University of California, Riverside.

Chu's talk, "The Physics and Biology of Individual Molecules" from noon to 1 p.m. in Bourns A265, will deal with his work to develop "optical tweezers" - a laser-based tool that allows scientists to probe single molecules of DNA and proteins. Chu's work is providing new insights into the functions and behavior of important biological molecules.

From 4 to 5 p.m. in Physics 2000, Chu will speak on "Holding onto Atoms and Molecules with Lasers," an introduction to his work using laser cooling to slow the motion of individual molecules, thus making them much easier for scientists to study. The technique has become a powerful tool for better understanding the interaction of light and matter and for developing more precise atomic clocks used in space navigation and tools that measure gravitational forces precisely.

Both talks are open to the public free of charge.

Chu, who joined Stanford University in 1987, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 along with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji of the Coll?e de France, and William D. Phillips of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Starting in 1985, the trio of scientists discovered circumstances where the intense light of lasers acted to slow the movement of atoms and to create "optical traps" for neutral atoms.

Chu's talks at UCR are hosted by the Department of Physics, and partially supported by the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineeering.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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