French physicist who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 with
Steven Chu and William D. Phillips. They received the award for their
development of techniques that use laser light to cool atoms to extremely
low temperatures. At such temperatures the atoms move slowly enough
to be examined in detail.
Cohen-Tannoudji and his colleagues at ENS expanded on the work of Chu
and Phillips, successfully explaining a seeming discrepancy in theory
and devising new mechanisms for cooling and trapping atoms with laser
light. In 1995 they cooled helium atoms to within eighteen-millionths
of a degree above absolute zero (-273.15 C, or -459.67 F), with a corresponding
speed of about two centimetres per second. Their work, and that of Chu
and Phillips, furthered scientists' understanding of how light and matter
interact. Among other practical applications, the techniques they developed
can be used to construct atomic clocks and other instruments capable
of an extremely high degree of precision.
Main Page | About Us | All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Timeline of Nobel Prize Winners is not affiliated with The Nobel Foundation. External sites are not endorsed or supported by http://www.nobel-winners.com/ Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved.