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Professor Steven Chu

Prof. Steven Chu served as the Secretary of Energy from January 21 2009, to April 22 2013.

Prof. Chu was charged with helping implement President Obama's ambitious agenda to invest in clean energy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, address the global climate crisis, and create millions of new jobs.

Prof. Chu is the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997) and has received numerous other awards. He has devoted his recent scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy and climate challenges - a mission he continues with even greater urgency as Secretary of Energy.

Prior to his appointment, Prof. Chu was the Director of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he led the lab in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies. He also taught at the University of California as a Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology. Previously, he held positions at Stanford University and AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Prof. Chu's research in atomic physics, quantum electronics, polymer and biophysics includes tests of fundamental theories in physics, the development of methods to laser cool and trap atoms, atom interferometry, and the study of polymers and biological systems at the single molecule level. While at Stanford, he helped start Bio-X, a multi-disciplinary initiative that brings together the physical and biological sciences with engineering and medicine.

Professor Paul Corkum

Prof. Corkum started his career as a theoretical physicist but changed to experiment when he arrived as a Post doctoral Fellow at the National Research Council (NRC) in 1973. He could make the change because as a grad student, he learned to repair his car. When asked during an interview at the NRC 'what makes you think you can become an experimentalist?' he could reply, 'it's no problem, I can take the engine of a car completely apart, repair it, and put it back together so it will work.' So they hired him.

At the National Research Council he concentrated first on laser physics but with the revolution in laser technology, intense laser pulses are now being applied in every discipline. Prof. Corkum anticipated their impact. He is best known for introducing many of the concepts in strong field atomic and molecular science.

Prof. Corkum is the Director of the Attosecond Science Program at the National Research Council and a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Ottawa. He is a member of the Royal Societies of London and of Canada. Among his awards are the Canadian Association of Physicists' gold medal for lifetime achievement in Physics (1996), the Royal Society of Canada's Tory award (2003), the Optical Societies Charles H. Townes award (2005) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) Quantum Electronics award (2005). In 2006 he has received an honorary degree from Acadia University, the Killam award for natural sciences. He was awarded the American Physical Society's Arthur L. Schawlow prize for Quantum Electronics. In 2007, he was inducted as an Officer to the Order of Canada and received the Natural Sciences and the Engineering Research Council's prestigious Polanyi Award in 2008. He is currently Canada Research Chair in Attosecond Photonics and an elected member of the US Academy of Science.

Professor Steven Cowley

Prof. Cowley became Director at Culham in September 2008 and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in November 2009. He received his BA from Oxford University and his PhD from Princeton University. Professor Cowley's post-doctoral work was at Culham and he returned to Princeton in 1987.

He joined the faculty at the University of California Los Angeles in 1993, rising to the rank of Full Professor in 2000. From 2001 to 2003 he led the plasma physics group at Imperial College, London. He remains a part-time professor at Imperial College. He has published over 100 papers and articles.

Prof.Cowley co-chaired the US National Academy's decadal assessment of, and outlook for, plasma science: Plasma Science: Advancing Knowledge in the National Interest(National Academy Press 2007).

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics, and the recipient of the Institute of Physics' 2012 Glazebrook Medal for leadership in physics. In June 2011, Prof. Cowley was appointed to the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology. He has also been appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Doctor Lisa Harvey-Smith

Dr. Harvey-Smith is a CSIRO research astronomer who specialises in high resolution radio astronomy. Her research investigates the birth and death of stars in our Galaxy and the origins and nature of cosmic magnetic fields.

Dr. Harvey-Smith is the project scientist for the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP), CSIRO's $188 million telescope facility in remote Western Australia. As well as being the world's fastest survey telescope at cm-wavelengths, ASKAP is a technology demonstrator and precursor for the $2 billion international Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which will be an order of magnitude more powerful than any existing radio telescope.

Dr. Harvey-Smith contributes to science-engineering trade-off studies for the SKA and serves on a number of advisory panels including the international SKA science working group and the Australian government's science advisory committee for the SKA. She was also a primary authors of Australia-New Zealand's successful bid to host the SKA.

Dr. Harvey-Smith is a keen advocate for astronomy in the media and gives a large number of public lectures at universities, research institutes, schools, colleges, museums, science festivals and astronomical societies every year. Dr. Harvey-Smith is a mentor to students at the Pia Wadjarri remote community school in Western Australia and runs regular science classes at Leichhardt Public School in Sydney as part of CSIRO’s ‘Scientists in Schools’ program.

Professor Serge Haroche

Serge Haroche’s main research activities have been in quantum optics and quantum information science. He has made important contributions to Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics (Cavity QED), the domain of quantum optics which studies the behaviour of atoms interacting strongly with the field confined in a high-Q cavity, a box made of highly reflecting mirrors. An atom-photon system isolated from the outside world by metallic walls realizes a very simple experimental model which Serge Haroche has used to test fundamental aspects of quantum physics such as state superposition, entanglement, complementarity and decoherence. Some of these experiments are actual realizations in the laboratory of the “thought experiments” imagined by the founding fathers of quantum mechanics. Serge Haroche’s main achievements in cavity QED include the observation of single atom spontaneous emission enhancement in a cavity (1983), the direct monitoring of the decoherence of mesoscopic superpositions of states (so-called Schrödinger cat states) (1996) and the quantum-non-demolition counting of photons (2007). By manipulating atoms and photons in high-Q cavities, he has also demonstrated elementary steps of quantum information procedures such as the generation of atom-atom and atom-photon entanglement (1997) and the operation of quantum logic gates involving photons and atoms as “quantum bits” (1999).

Serge Haroche has received many prizes and awards, culminating in the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics, shared with David Wineland. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

Professor Lawrence M Krauss

Prof. Lawrence M Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of all mass in the universe. He was born in New York City and moved shortly thereafter to Toronto, Canada, where he grew up.

Prof. Krauss is the author of over 300 scientific publications, as well as numerous popular articles on physics and astronomy. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and writing, including the Gravity Research Foundation First Prize Award (1984), and the Presidential Investigator Award (1986). In February 2000, in Washington D.C., Krauss was awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science's1999-2000 Award for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology. In 2001 he was awarded the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society. The citation reads 'For outstanding contributions to the understanding of the early universe, and extraordinary achievement in communicating the essence of physical science to the general public'.

Prof. Krauss is one of the few prominent scientists today to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture. For example, besides his radio and television work, Prof. Krauss has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, narrating Gustav Holst's The Planets at the Blossom Music Center in the most highly attended concert at that venue, and was nominated for a Grammy award for his liner notes for a Telarc CD of music from Star Trek. In 2005 he also served as a jury member at the Sundance Film Festival.

Professor Lisa Randall

Professor Lisa Randall studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University. Her research connects theoretical insights to puzzles in our current understanding of the properties and interactions of matter. She has developed and studied a wide variety of models to address these questions, the most prominent involving extra dimensions of space. Her work has involved improving our under-standing of the Standard Model of particle physics, supersymmetry, baryogenesis, cosmological inflation, and dark matter. Randall’s research also explores ways to experimentally test and verify ideas and her current research focuses in large part on the Large Hadron Collider and dark matter searches and models.

Prof. Randall has also had a public presence through her writing, lectures, and radio and TV appearances. Prof. Randall’s books, Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions and Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World were both on the New York Times’ list of 100 Notable Books of the Year. Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space was released as a Kindle Single in the summer of 2012 as an update with recent particle physics developments.

Prof. Randall’s studies have made her among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists and she has received numerous awards and honors for her scientific endeavors. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was a fellow of the American Physical Society, and is a past winner of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, a DOE Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, and the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. Randall is an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the British Institute of Physics. In 2003, she received the Premio Caterina Tomassoni e Felice Pietro Chisesi Award, from the University of Rome, La Sapienza. In 2006, she received the Klopsteg Award from the American Society of Physics Teachers (AAPT) for her lectures and in 2007 she received the Julius Lilienfeld Prize from the American Physical Society for her work on elementary particle physics and cosmology and for communicating this work to the public.

Prof. Randall has also pursued art-science connections, writing a libretto for Hypermusic: A Projective Opera in Seven Planes that premiered in the Pompidou Center in Paris and co-curating an art exhibit for the Los Angeles Arts Association, Measure for Measure, which was presented in Gallery 825 in Los Angeles, at the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University, and at Harvard’s Carpenter Center. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Andrew Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics, which is given annually for significant contributions to the cultural, artistic, or humanistic dimension of physics.

Professor Randall was on the list of Time Magazine's '100 Most Influential People' of 2007 and was one of 40 people featured in The Rolling Stone 40th Anniversary issue that year. Prof. Randall was featured in Newsweek's 'Who's Next in 2006' as 'one of the most promising theoretical physicists of her generation' and in Seed Magazine's '2005 Year in Science Icons'. In 2008, Prof. Randall was among Esquire Magazine's “75 Most Influential People.”

Professor Randall earned her PhD from Harvard University and held professorships at MIT and Princeton University before returning to Harvard in 2001. She is also the recipient of honorary degrees from Brown University, Duke University, Bard College, and the University of Antwerp.

Professor Steven Sherwood

Prof. Sherwood studies how the various processes in the atmosphere conspire to establish climate, how these processes might be expected to control the way climate changes, and how the atmosphere will ultimately interact with the oceans and other components of Earth.

Prof. Sherwood leads a research group that applies basic physics and mathematics to complex problems by a combination of simple theoretical ideas and hypotheses and directed analyses of observations. Depending on requirements the group uses simple or advanced statistical techniques, bridging the gaps between these (where needed) by using state-of-the-art climate models as research tools. One practical goal of the group's work is to figure out how these models might be improved, as they are ultimately necessary for regional predictions of weather and climate. A more academic goal is just to unlock the secrets of our atmosphere.

Professor Anke Rita Kaysser-Pyzalla

Prof. Kaysser-Pyzalla, born in 1966, studied at Bochum, graduated at Darmstadt and received a Doctorate in Engineering 1995 at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. As a postdoc she worked at the HMI Berlin and the TU Berlin as a group leader. From 2003 to 2005 she was a university professor at the Technical University Vienna. At the end of 2005 she became director and CEO of the Department of Materials Diagnostics and Steel Technology at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung, Düsseldorf. Since October 2008, Kaysser-Pyzalla has been Scientific Director and Chief Executive of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and chairperson of IGAFA.

As Chief Executive of HZB she is responsible for approximately 1,100 employees at two sites and, as Scientific Director in the field of neutron and synchrotron radiation, she represents two distinguished large scale facilities – the research reactor BER II and the synchrotron radiation source BESSY II. From her point of view, the main tasks of the HZB are the advancement of the complementary use of neutrons and photons, the investigation of renewable energies, the promotion of young scientists, the close networking with the universities, and a sustainable continuation of the success story in Berlin. The latest project: Europe’s first and unique feasibility study of a new X-ray source, the Berlin Linac Project – BERLinPro.