Carl Wieman

Last updated
Carl Edwin Wieman
Carl Wieman.jpg
Wieman in 2011
Born (1951-03-26) March 26, 1951 (age 68)
Nationality United States
Alma mater MIT
Stanford University
Known for Bose–Einstein condensate
Awards E. O. Lawrence Award (1993)
King Faisal International Prize in Science (1997)
Lorentz Medal (1998)
The Benjamin Franklin Medal (2000)
Nobel Prize in Physics (2001)
Oersted Medal (2007)
Scientific career
Fields Physics
Institutions University of British Columbia
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Michigan
Stanford University
Doctoral advisor Theodor W. Hänsch

Carl Edwin Wieman (born March 26, 1951) is an American physicist and educationist at Stanford University. [1] In 1995, while at the University of Colorado Boulder, he and Eric Allin Cornell produced the first true Bose–Einstein condensate (BEC) and, in 2001, they and Wolfgang Ketterle (for further BEC studies) were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Wieman currently holds a joint appointment as Professor of Physics and Professor in the Stanford Graduate School of Education, as well as the DRC Professor in the Stanford University School of Engineering.



Wieman was born in Corvallis, Oregon to N. Orr Wieman and Alison Marjorie Fry in the United States and graduated from Corvallis High School. [2] [3] His paternal grandfather Henry Nelson Wieman was a religious philosopher of German descent and his mother had white Anglo-Saxon Protestant family background. [4] [5] Wieman earned his B.S. in 1973 from MIT and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1977; he was also awarded a Doctor of Science, honoris causa from the University of Chicago in 1997. He was awarded the Lorentz Medal in 1998. In 2001, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Eric Allin Cornell and Wolfgang Ketterle, for fundamental studies of the Bose-Einstein condensate. [6] In 2004, he was named United States Professor of the Year among all doctoral and research universities. [7]

Wieman joined the University of British Columbia on 1 January 2007 and headed a well-endowed science education initiative there; he retained a twenty percent appointment at the University of Colorado Boulder to head the science education project he founded in Colorado. [8] On 1 September 2013, Wieman joined Stanford University with a joint appointment in the physics department and the Graduate School of Education. [9] [10]

In the past several years, Wieman has been particularly involved with efforts at improving science education and has conducted educational research on science instruction. Wieman served as Chair of the Board on Science Education of the National Academy of Sciences from 2005 to 2009. He has used and promotes Eric Mazur's peer instruction, a pedagogical system where teachers repeatedly ask multiple-choice concept questions during class, and students reply on the spot with little wireless "clicker" devices. If a large proportion of the class chooses a wrong answer, students discuss among themselves and reply again. [11] In 2007, Wieman was awarded the Oersted Medal, which recognizes notable contributions to the teaching of physics, by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

Wieman is the founder and chairman of PhET, a web-based directive of University of Colorado Boulder which provides an extensive suite of simulations to improve the way that physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and math are taught and learned. [12] Link

Wieman is a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Advisory Board. [13] Wieman was nominated to be The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy Associate Director of Science on March 24, 2010. His hearing in front of the Commerce committee occurred on May 20, 2010 and he was passed by unanimous consent. On September 16, 2010 Dr. Wieman was confirmed by unanimous consent. He left that post in June 2012 to battle multiple myeloma. [14]

Selected publications

See also

Related Research Articles

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A Bose–Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter which is typically formed when a gas of bosons at low densities is cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero (-273.15 °C). Under such conditions, a large fraction of bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, at which point microscopic quantum phenomena, particularly wavefunction interference, become apparent macroscopically. A BEC is formed by cooling a gas of extremely low density, about one-hundred-thousandth (1/100,000) the density of normal air, to ultra-low temperatures.

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Eric Allin Cornell American physicist

Eric Allin Cornell is an American physicist who, along with Carl E. Wieman, was able to synthesize the first Bose–Einstein condensate in 1995. For their efforts, Cornell, Wieman, and Wolfgang Ketterle shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001.

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Wolfgang Ketterle is a German physicist and professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research has focused on experiments that trap and cool atoms to temperatures close to absolute zero, and he led one of the first groups to realize Bose–Einstein condensation in these systems in 1995. For this achievement, as well as early fundamental studies of condensates, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001, together with Eric Allin Cornell and Carl Wieman.

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PhET Interactive Simulations Company

PhET Interactive Simulations, a project at the University of Colorado Boulder, is a non-profit open educational resource project that creates and hosts explorable explanations. It was founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman. PhET began with Wieman's vision to improve the way science is taught and learned. Their stated mission is "To advance science and math literacy and education worldwide through free interactive simulations."

Bose–Einstein condensation can occur in quasiparticles, particles that are effective descriptions of collective excitations in materials. Some have integer spins and can be expected to obey Bose–Einstein statistics like traditional particles. Conditions for condensation of various quasiparticles have been predicted and observed. The topic continues to be an active field of study.

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  1. Mervis, Jeffrey (28 August 2013). "Carl Wieman Takes Physics, Education Jobs at Stanford". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  2. "Oregon Secretary of State: Notable Oregonians: Carl E. Wieman - Physicist, Nobel Winner".
  4. "Henry Nelson Wieman".
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2011-06-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "U.S Professor of the Year Awards - 2004 National Winners". Retrieved 2018-10-05.
  8. "CU-Boulder Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman Announces Move To British Columbia, Will Remain Linked To CU-Boulder" (Press release). University of Colorado Boulder. 2006-03-20. Archived from the original on 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
  9. "Carl Wieman Takes Physics, Education Jobs at Stanford". 2013-08-28.
  10. "Nobelist Carl Wieman Moves to Stanford to Focus on Better Science Teaching". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 2013-08-27.
  11. David Epstein (2006-04-07). "Trading Research for Teaching". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
  12. Perkins, Katherine; Adams, Wendy; Dubson, Michael; Finkelstein, Noah; Reid, Sam; Wieman, Carl; Lemaster, Ron (2008). "PhET: Interactive Simulations for Teaching and Learning Physics". Collected Papers of Carl Wieman. pp. 702–709. doi:10.1142/9789812813787_0097. ISBN   978-981-270-415-3.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2015-02-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. "Carl Wieman Takes Physics, Education Jobs at Stanford". 2013-08-28.

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