Carl E. Wieman
NSF Award Recognition: NSF 2001 Distinguished Teaching Scholars
Research Contributions: Dr. Wieman's research areas are laser spectroscopy and atomic physics. Cooling atoms to far lower temperatures than had ever been achieved, he and his colleagues realized the phenomenion of the Bose-Einstein Condensation of a gas for the first time. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Wieman's honors and awards include the American Physical Society's Schawlow Prize for Laser Science, the Optical Society of America's R.W. Wood Award, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, and the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Educational Contributions: Dr. Wieman has contributed interactive Java applets on lasers and on Bose-Einstein condensation to the award-winning Physics2000 website, which is oriented to K-12 students and the general public. He developed a set of experiments for undergraduate laboratory courses that have been published by the American Journal of Physics and widely adopted. Dr. Wieman is a founding member of the American Institute on Physics task force on undergraduate physics and, as a member of a National Research Council committee, was involved in writing the education section and d rafting the recommendation for improving undergraduate physics education. As a member of the National Research Council/National Academy of Science Board on Physics and Astronomy, he organized a policy briefing on undergraduate physics education.
Director's Award Project: Dr. Wieman's project aims to change the curriculum and presentation methods of undergraduate physics courses to make them engaging and more effective at providing widespead understanding of physics concepts as they apply to the world around us. He is developing interactive Java applets and lecture demonstrations that will cover topics in the new text, How Things Work: the Physics of Everyday Life, authored by L.A. Bloomfield.
from NSF Award Celebration, November 8, 2001