Nobel Prize winner Carl Wieman was assistant professor 1979-84

October 10, 2001

ANN ARBOR—Carl Wieman, one of three scientists who shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, began his career at the University of Michigan.

Wieman joined the U-M faculty immediately following his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1977 and was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics from 1979 to 1984. He then went to the University of Colorado at Boulder and their JILA institute where he and Eric Cornell began the collaboration that eventually led to their prize-winning discoveries.

“Carl began the research that eventually led to his Nobel Prize work here at Michigan, although of course it was in its very early stages then, and many of the key advances happened several years after he went to Colorado,” said Professor Philip Bucksbaum.

“Nevertheless, he is still a member of our Michigan family. He has returned regularly for conferences and colloquia, and I’ve always considered him a friend of the department. We should all feel proud of the role Michigan played in Carl’s research.”

Wieman, Cornell and Wolfgang Ketterle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were honored for their work on cooling and corralling thousands to millions of individual atoms to form an entirely new type of matter, named a Bose-Einstein Condensate. Wieman and Cornell produced the first Bose-Einstein Condensate in 1995; Ketterle made the first grouping of atoms big enough to study in detail.

Carl WiemanDepartment of PhysicsPhilip BucksbaumWolfgang Ketterle