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NIST Physicist Wineland Awarded 2007 National Medal of Science

From NIST Tech Beat: September 3, 2008

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Contact: Michael Baum

photo of David J. Wineland
Physicist David J. Wineland of NIST Boulder Laboratories in Colorado
Credit: NIST
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Physicist David J. Wineland of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been awarded the 2007 National Medal of Science.

Wineland, 64, was cited for “outstanding leadership in developing the science of laser cooling and manipulation of ions, with applications in extremely precise measurements and standards, quantum computing, and fundamental tests of quantum mechanics, and for his major impact on the international scientific community through training scientists and outstanding publications.” He is internationally recognized for developing the technique of using lasers to cool ions to near absolute zero, the coldest possible temperature. Wineland achieved the first demonstration of laser cooling in 1978 and has built on that breakthrough with 30 years of experiments in using trapped laser-cooled ions to test theories in quantum physics and demonstrate crucial applications such as new forms of computation.

The National Medal of Science honors individuals for pioneering scientific research in a range of fields, including physical, biological, mathematical, social, behavioral and engineering sciences, that enhances understanding of the world and leads to innovations and technologies that give the United States a global economic edge. The National Science Foundation administers the award, which was established by the Congress in 1959. The winners will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 29.

For more details and to watch President Bush’s opening remarks and NIST physicist David Wineland receive the 2007 National Medal of Science, see “NIST Physicist David J. Wineland Awarded 2007 National Medal of Science.”