Steven Chu enters Garden City High School. He takes advanced placement physics and calculus, both courses held by two talented and dedicated teachers. In his high school years Chu fabricates a physical pendulum and uses it to make a "precision" measurement of gravity.
Steven Chu works as Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California Berkeley.
Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University.
Steven Chu receives the Nobel Prize in Physics with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William D. Phillips for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.
Chu begins working with Art Ashkin, a colleague at Holmdel, whose dream is to trap atoms with light. Chu realizes that a way to hold onto atoms with light could be to first make them very cold. With the help of Leo Holberg, Chu’s new post-doc, and of the technician Alex Cable, Chu begins his laser cooling experiment. Cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light leads Chu to his Nobel Prize in Physics.
Steven Chu enrols at the University of California. Chu is recruited by Eugene Commins who is ending a series of beta decay experiments. Commins is getting interested in astrophysics at the time and asks Chu to think about proto-star formation of a closely coupled binary pair. Later, Chu starts working on a beta-decay experiment looking for "second-class currents", but after a year, he abandons it to measure the Lamb shift in high-Z hydrogen-like ions.
Steven Chu works as a post-doc on a very exciting high energy experiment thanks to which he is offered a job as assistant professor at Berkeley in the spring of 1978.
Chu becomes head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department and moves to another branch of Bell Labs. He expands his interests and uses picosecond laser techniques to look at excitons as a potential system for observing metal-insulator transitions and Anderson localization. With this apparatus, he accidentally notices a counter-intuitive pulse-propagation effect. He also plans to enter surface science by constructing a novel electron spectrometer based on threshold ionization of atoms.
Steven Chu is born in St. Louis, Missouri, second of three sons. At young age he enjoys building plastic model airplanes and warships. Gradually he becomes also interested in playing with chemistry. Coming from a family of scholars makes Chu feel inadequate with respect to his parents’ expectations. In Chu's youth, school is more a duty than a pleasure until he discovers with joy geometry, his first exciting school’s subject, along with English.
Steven Chu serves as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Barack Obama. As the first scientist to hold a cabinet position and the longest serving Energy Secretary, he begins several initiatives including ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy), the Energy Innovation Hubs, and the Clean Energy Ministerial meetings. Also during his tenure, the deployment of renewable energy doubles in the U.S. and solar energy deployment increases 10-fold.
Steven Chu works as assistant professor at Berkeley.
Chu is professor of Physics at Stanford. He twice chairs the Department of Physics and helps start Bio-X, a multi-disciplinary project to connect physical and biological sciences with engineering and medicine. He leads important works: fleshing out the details of polarization gradient cooling, the demonstration of the atomic fountain clock, the development of atom interferometers and a new method of laser cooling based on Raman pulses. Chu is also now fascinated by polymer physics and biology.
Steven Chu joins Bell Laboratories. His department head is Peter Eisenberger. Chu writes a paper reviewing the current status of x-ray microscopy and starts an experiment on energy transfer in ruby with Hyatt Gibbs and Sam McCall. He also begins planning the experiment on the optical spectroscopy of positronium. With the help of Allen Mills, Chu obtains one of the most accurate measurements of quantum electrodynamics corrections to an atomic system.
Steven Chu enters the University of Rochester. Here, he studies introductory physics on the famous textbook: The Feynman Lectures in Physics. During his sophomore year, Chu looks for a compromise between his love for mathematics and physics: eventually he finds it in theoretical physics.