Dr. Steven Chu is a well-known physicist and scientist of Chinese-American background who was the Secretary of Energy for the United States. Steven was born to two Chinese people who had left their country because of war. Steven’s family moved to a big city in the northeast with good schools but few Asian families because they thought education was the most important thing. Chu’s family put a lot of pressure on him to do well in school, but he went on to have a great career at a well-known northeastern university. After the Chu graduated, he was given a prominent position as a researcher at a major lab because of the groundbreaking research he did while he was still in school. The Chu kept finding new ways to understand energy technologies, and he and his colleagues were eventually given the most prestigious award for academic achievement. The Chu kept coming up with new ways to study the physical properties of developing and using energy. He eventually became the head of one of the most prestigious research institutions in the country. The Chu was eventually chosen for a high-level cabinet position, and during his full term in office, he spent a lot of money on new projects and policies. Dr. Steven Chu is a respected scholar and academic expert in many hard scientific fields. He is also a role model for many Asian Americans.
Early years and childhood
Steven Chu was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 28, 1948, to parents with Chinese-American roots. His father, Ju-Chin Chu, was a chemical engineering professor and had a Ph.D. Ching Chen Li, his mother, studied economics, and he has two brothers named Gilbert Chu and Morgan Chu.
He went to “Garden City High School” in New York City when he was a teenager. Steven’s family was the only one in his part of the city with Chinese roots.
In 1970, Chu got a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Rochester.
Steven Chu’s Career
He got his Ph.D. in physics from the “University of California” at Berkeley in 1976. He was a Fellow at the same university for the next two years, where he worked on developing new ways to use lasers.
In 1978, he was hired by “Bell Laboratories” as the Director of Quantum Electronics Research. For the next four years, he would be in this job.
In 1983, he started working at “Bell Laboratories” as a research physicist, a job he would keep for the next five years. During Chu’s time at Bell Labs, he and his fellow scientists came up with new ways to cool and trap single atoms.
He started teaching Applied Physics at Stanford University in 1987. He would keep this title for the next seventeen years.
He was the Chair of the Physics Department at Stanford University twice between 1990 and 2001. While the Chu was at Stanford, he and three other scientists started a research group called the “Bio-X program.”
In 1996, a prestigious “Guggenheim Fellowship” was given to him. He was able to keep studying quantum electronics and advanced polymers because of this.
In 1997, Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, and William D. Phillips were given the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on trapping atoms with laser light.
In 2004, he was named a Member of the Board of NVIDIA, a company that makes computer graphics and hardware. He would hold this position for the next five years.
In 2004, he was named director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a job he held until he became Secretary of Energy. He helped the lab make new discoveries in biofuels and solar energy while he was there.
On January 21, 2009, Chu was named Secretary of Energy for the United States. For the next four years, he would be in this job. During his time in office, Chu was in charge of fixing the “Deepwater Horizon” leak and worked on several projects to find new ways to use energy.
Dr. Chu is still a member of the faculty at ‘Stanford University’ even though he is no longer in the cabinet.
Works of note
From 2009 to 2013, Dr. Steven Chu was the Secretary of Energy in the Obama administration. As Secretary of Energy, Chu led the investigation into the “Deepwater Horizon” oil spill. He also put a lot of emphasis on developing alternative energy sources and making people aware of how harmful fossil fuels are.
He has written more than 260 academic papers, has 10 patents, is a member of several prestigious international scientific organizations, and has been given many honors and honorary degrees from universities in more than a dozen different countries.
Awards & Achievements
In 1997, Dr. Chu and two other scientists were given the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on trapping atoms with laser light. This was a big step forward in understanding how molecules and biochemistry work.
Personal History and Legacies
In 1997, Chu married British citizen Jean Fetter. Steven and Jean live with his two sons from his first marriage to an astrobiologist named Lisa Chu-Thielbar.
Estimated Net worth
Steven is one of the wealthiest and most well-known physicists. Based on what we’ve found on Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Steven Chu has a net worth of about $1.5 million.
Even though the Chu is proud of his Chinese heritage, he doesn’t speak Chinese. When he was a child, his parents told him not to speak Chinese in the house.
After Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, Chu is the second Chinese-American in the cabinet.