Carl Edwin Wieman
March 26, 1951
Place of Birth:
Carl Wieman helped create and manipulate a new form of matter called Bose-Einstein Condensate.
His father worked in a lumber mill in the Oregon coastal area and fathered five children.
Young Wieman spent most of his early years amongst trees in the woods of Oregon.
Because of where he lived, Carl Wieman had to drive many miles through woods by school bus to attend school.
His parents encouraged Wieman to visit the library when possible and he borrowed and read many books.
Wieman gives credit to a young grade seven teacher, Ron Tobias, for instilling in him an interest in science.
He was inspired in mathematics through a friend's father, Bill Firey, who was a university professor.
In high school, Carl Wieman was noted more for being a good chess player than being a good student.
His work was successful enough, however, to get him entered into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
At MIT, Wieman became deeply interested in physics but actually did not take any courses in atomic physics.
To save money as an undergraduate, he began sleeping in the lab where he worked and showered in the gym.
In his lab, he did experiments with dye lasers blasting atoms with his research team.
During the time when Carl Wieman worked on his Ph. D. at Stanford University, he continued making advancements in atomic science.
He and his group in the 1980's centered on doing experiments with lowering temperatures in atoms to absolute zero
Wieman has publicly credited his success as a physicist to his wife, Sarah, who worked in his lab and edited much of his writing.
Dr. Carl Wieman received his Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001 for his work with creating BEC.
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Last Updated: January 22, 2017
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