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Steven Chu

Steven Chu
Personal data
Date of birthFebruary 28, 1948(age 68)
Place of birthSt. Louis, Missouri, United States
Political partyDemocratic Party
SpouseLisa Chu-Thielbar (Divorced)
Jean Fetter (1997 present)
Alma materUniversity of Rochester
University of California, Berkeley
ProfessionExperimental physicist
12th United States Secretary of Energy
Assumed officeJanuary 21, 2009
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyDaniel Poneman
Preceded bySamuel Bodman

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Steven Chu (born February 28, 1948) is an American physicist and the 12th United States Secretary of Energy. Chu is known for his research at Bell Labs in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, along with his scientific colleagues Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips. At the time of his appointment as Energy Secretary, he was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where his research was concerned primarily with the study of biological systems at the single molecule level. Previously, he had been a professor of physics at Stanford University. He is a vocal advocate for more research into alternative energy and nuclear power, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combating climate change. For example, he has conceived of a global "glucose economy", a form of a low-carbon economy, in which glucose from tropical plants is shipped around like oil is today.

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