Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

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"I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same." — Suw Charman-Anderson

I signed up and pledged to blog about a woman in technology. Turns out 1832 other people have also signed up. I wanted to blog about Dr. Lene Vestergaard Hau, a Danish physicist who works in the field of quantum physics.

I worked with Lene Hau when I was a librarian at the Rowland Institute for Science in Boston, around 1997-2000. Lene ran the group working on atom cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation. While I and her team were working there, they slowed the speed of light! I remember walking into the Institute one morning, and the team had put up a spoof of those Volkswagen Beetle ads that said "0 to 60? Yes.", but with numbers for the speed of light: "300,000 km/sec to 17 m/sec? Yes!" Eventually they were able to stop it.

Lene now works at Harvard University. She has published numerous scientific articles and papers, and was honored with Harvard University's prestigious Ledlie Prize in September 2008. She was Elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on January 16, 2008.

In 2002, John Preskill wrote a poem about her, called Lene Hau.

I admire Lene for her amazing achievements. Physics is a branch of science that is still dominated by men. Lene is incredibility smart and talented. She has risen to the top of her field. I'm proud that I was able to work with her for the little bit that I did.

You can learn more about her on her lab's page at Harvard and on her wikipedia page.

1 Comment

Hey Chiara: This is a wonderful post. I am so glad to know about Lene and her incredible work. Very, very cool.

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This page contains a single entry by Chiara published on March 24, 2009 10:41 AM.

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