U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who is a co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997), was in Stockholm over the past several days representing the United States as two scientists with ties to the Department of Energy were awarded Nobel Prizes. Secretary Chu made the following statement:
“I was honored to be in Stockholm to celebrate with two pioneering researchers supported by the Energy Department labs who won 2011 Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry. Winning the Nobel Prize in 1997 was an unbelievable personal honor, and it has been a thrill to join these two outstanding scientists at the Nobel Prize ceremonies. Saul Perlmutter, who won the Prize in Physics is a member of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for his entire career and Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley. He led a team that co-discovered that the expanding universe is speeding up, contrary to all known laws of physics. Dan Shechtman, professor of materials science at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel, DOE’s Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University, won the Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ‘quasicrystals’, has redefined how we think of ordered condensed matter.
“Their important work underscores the impact of basic science research and I congratulate them for this well-deserved recognition. To compete in the 21st global economy, it is critical to invest in innovations that pave the way for future industries and solutions to our nation’s most important challenges. Saturday, I spoke at the Nobel Museum about how science, discovery and innovation has changed the world for the better, and how it must help us solve the energy and climate challenges in the coming decades.
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