Sunday, 25 December 2011

Para Peraih Nobel dari California Institue of Technology IV


Douglas Osheroff (with David Lee and Robert Richardson) was honored with the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the transition of helium-3 into a superfluid state.

Osheroff attended Caltech as an undergraduate, earning his BS degree in physics in 1967. He went to Cornell to do his graduate work, where he studied under David Lee, his future fellow Nobel laureate. After receiving his PhD in 1972, he went to work at Bell Labs for the next 15 years, where he did research during what was considered the golden era at the labs.

In 1987, he left to become a professor of physics at Stanford University, where he continues to work on superfluid and solid helium-3. Besides supervising his graduate students, he also teaches undergraduate physics, and has won Stanford’s Gores Award for excellence in teaching.


Robert Merton shared the 1997 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (with Myron Scholes) for his work in developing models for risk evaluation of options and other derivatives.

Merton received his BS in engineering mathematics in 1966 from Columbia University. He then went to Caltech to pursue a PhD in applied mathematics. During his first year there, he decided to study economics. Since Caltech in 1967 had yet to add a graduate economics program, Merton had to seek elsewhere for a doctoral program. 

His Caltech master’s degree served him well, however, for he appreciated Caltech’s “creed of placing students from the outset in a research framework . . . instead of merely passively learning the material.” As a doctoral student at MIT he studied under well-known economist Paul Samuelson. 

After earning his PhD in 1970, he taught finance for 18 years at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he met Myron Scholes. Merton moved to Harvard Business School in 1988, where he is currently John and Natty McArthur University Professor.

He is also a principal and co-founder of Long-Term Capital Management.

AHMED H. ZEWAIL (b.1946)

Ahmed H. Zewail won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his groundbreaking work in viewing and studying chemical reactions at the atomic level as they occur. 

He is internationally known as a pioneer in the field of femtochemistry, in which investigators use ultrafast lasers to probe chemical reactions in real time. Because reactions can take place in a millionth of a billionth of a second, Zewail's state-of-the-art lasers have made it possible to observe and study this motion for the first time, allowing scientists to understand at a fundamental level how chemical bonds form and break.

Femtochemistry has had wide-ranging impact on chemistry and photobiology all over the world.

Zewail, a native of Egypt and now a U.S. citizen, is Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Physics and professor of physics at Caltech. He received both his bachelor's and his master's degrees from Alexandria University. He earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 and joined the Caltech faculty in 1976.


Leland Hartwell was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with co-recipients Timothy Hunt and Paul Nurse) “for his discoveries of a specific class of genes that control the cell cycle. One of these genes called ‘start’ was found to have a central role in controlling the first step of each cell cycle. Hartwell also introduced the concept ‘checkpoint,’ a valuable aid to understanding the cell cycle.”

By combining mutants and time-lapse photomicroscopy, Hartwell has identified 32 genes that regulate the cell cycle, and he has used genetics to define many of the steps in the signal transduction pathway that feeds into start, a control point in the cell cycle. The gene controlling start, CDC28, was cloned in his lab and was the first CDK identified. 

He has discovered that limitation or overexpression of many essential cell-cycle components leads to errors in chromosome transmission.

After graduating from Caltech in 1961 with a BS in biology, Hartwell received his PhD from MIT in 1964. He is a full professor at the University of Washington, where he has been since 1968. In 1996 he joined the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as a full member and senior advisor for scientific affairs, and in 1997 was named president and director of the center.


Vernon L. Smith shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences with Princeton's Daniel Kahneman. Smith was recognized "for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms." His research focuses on real people facing real choices (and with the potential to earn real money payoffs) to create data on economic choices and incentives.
Smith received his BS degree in electrical engineering from Caltech in 1949. As a senior, he had taken an economics course, which so intrigued him that he decided to pursue the subject further. He earned a master's degree at the University of Kansas, and then a PhD at Harvard, both in economics, and joined the faculty at Purdue. 

In the years that followed, he also taught at Stanford, Brown, and the University of Massachusetts. In the early 1970s he began a long-standing collaboration with Caltech experimental economist Charles Plott, and spent 1973-74 at the Institute as a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar. 

He stayed on in California through 1974-75 with a joint appointment at Caltech and USC. In 1975 he moved to the University of Arizona, where he remained for 26 years. Smith is currently professor of economics and law at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, a research scholar in the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, and a fellow of the Mercatus Center.


Hugh David Politzer won the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics for work he began as a graduate student on how the elementary particles known as quarks are bound together to form the protons and neutrons of atomic nuclei.
Politzer, a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech, shares the prize with David Gross and Frank Wilczek. The key discovery was made in 1973, when Politzer, a Harvard University graduate student at the time, and two physicists working independently from Politzer at Princeton University—Gross and his graduate student Wilczek—theorized that quarks actually become bound more tightly the farther they get from each other.

ROBERT H. GRUBBS (b. 1942)

Robert H. Grubbs shared the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Yves Chauvin (Institut Français du Pétrole) and Richard R. Schrock (MIT) for "the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis." Metathesis is an organic reaction in which chemists selectively strip out certain atoms in a compound and replace them with atoms that were previously part of another compound, resulting in a custom-built molecule with specialized properties. 

Grubbs's work on olefin metathesis in particular has produced powerful new catalysts that have enabled the custom synthesis of valuable molecules, among them pharmaceuticals and polymers with novel materials properties.
Grubbs earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Florida in 1963 and 1965, respectively. He received his PhD from Columbia University in 1968, then spent a year at Stanford as a postdoctoral fellow before joining the Michigan State University faculty. 

He came to Caltech in 1978 as a full professor, and was named the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry in 1990.


California Institute of Technology

Nobel Prize

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