Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold  



Lene Vestergaard Hau

Lene Vestergaard HauLene Vestergaard Hau (born in Denmark, November 1959) is a Danish physicist. She began investigating Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) in the late 1990s by passing light through a very cold cloud of sodium atoms. Her formalized training is in theoretical physics she moved to experimental research in order to try and create a BEC.

Her team at Harvard uses laser cooling to cool atoms to temperatures down to micro kelvins. In 1999, her team succeeded in slowing a beam of light to about 17 m/sec. (or 38 mph) and in 2001, the team was able to momentarily stop a beam of light using a superfluid.

In 1989, she was given a two-year appointment as a postdoctoral fellow in physics at Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Aarhus in Denmark in 1991. That same year she joined the Rowland Institute for Science at Cambridge as a scientific staff member. Since 1999 she has held the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics and Professor of Physics at Harvard. Dr. Hau’s scientific and service contributions have been recognized through numerous awards and honors.

Hau Lab at Harvard University:

Harvard Physics Department bio:


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