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Congratulations to AU alum Lene Vestergaard Hau (Ph.D. '91) for being included as one of the 50 most influential scientists in the world today.

2014.02.10 | AU Alumni

Aarhus University distinguished alum 2011, and Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University; Lene Vestergaard Hau (Ph.D. '91) is included as one of the 50 most influential scientists in the world today for her work with quantum mechanics In a recent article written by www.thebestschools.org

When referring to the scientists on the list as “influential,” the article attempts to gauge their influence on science as such. In other words, the scientists listed are influential because of the groundbreaking scientific work they have done and its impact on the world.

Read the insert about Lene below, or view the whole article online at http://www.thebestschools.org/features/50-influential-scientists-world-today/ - in no particular order of importance, Lene is found at number 19.

Lene Vestergaard Hau (cand.scient. '89, Ph.D. '91)
Lene Vestergaard Hau is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University. One of her well-known achievements is using a superfluid to slow a beam of light to a standstill. This work led to further experiments on the transfer of light to matter, then from matter back into light, which led to important implications for quantum encryption and quantum computing.

Hau and her associates at Harvard University have demonstrated exquisite control over light and matter in several experiments, but her experiment with two condensates is one of the most compelling. In 2006, they successfully transferred a qubit from light to a matter wave and back into light, using Bose-Einstein condensates. While the matter is traveling between the two Bose-Einstein condensates, it can be trapped for minutes, then reshaped into something else. This novel form of quantum control has implications for the developing fields of quantum information processing and quantum cryptography.

During her doctoral studies in quantum theory at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, Hau worked on ideas similar to those involved in fiber optic cables carrying light, but her work involved strings of atoms in a silicon crystal carrying electrons.

Hau’s latest research has continued to be centered on cold atoms and Bose-Einstein condensates. Her group uses laser cooling to efficiently precool atoms to temperatures in the micro-kelvin range. Recently, the Hau group succeeded in reducing the light speed—initially to 17 meters per second, and later to almost zero m.p.s.—by optically inducing quantum interference in a Bose-Einstein condensate.

Ultra-slow light creates a unique new tool for probing the fundamental properties of Bose-Einstein condensates.

Web resource: Lene Vestergaard Hau’s Home Page.

Lene Vestergaard Hau: Lene was also honored as Aarhus Universities Distinguished alum in 2011 - seen here with then Rector Lauritz Holm-Nielsen after receiving her award.

Lene was also honored as Aarhus Universities Distinguished alum in 2011 - seen here with then Rector Lauritz Holm-Nielsen after receiving her award.

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