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Lene Vestergaard Hau (born in Denmark, on November 13, 1959) is a Danish physicist. In 1999, she led a Harvard University team who succeeded in slowing a beam of light to about 17 metres per second, and, in 2001, was able to momentarily stop a beam. She was able to achieve this by using a superfluid.

In 1989, Hau accepted a two-year appointment as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. She received her degree from the University of Aarhus in Denmark in 1991. Her formalized training is in theoretical physics but her interest moved to experimental research in an effort to create a new form of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate. In 1991 she joined the Rowland Institute for Science at Cambridge as a scientific staff member. Since 1999 she has held the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics and Professor of Physics at Harvard. She now is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard.

Dr. Hau’s scientific and service contributions have been recognized through honors that include:

Dr. Hau recently was awarded an honorary appointment to the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters and was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2008.

Qubit transfer

Prof. Hau and her associates at Harvard University have successfully transferred a qubit from light to a matter wave and back into light using Bose–Einstein condensates. Details of the experiment are discussed in the February 8, 2007 publication of the journal Nature.[1]


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