Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Paul Chu Returns To University of Houston

Ah, a name from the past!

Paul Chu, after serving as president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, returns to the scene of his triumph at the University of Houston. Back in the heyday of high-Tc superconductors, he discovered YBCO after the publication of Bednorz and Müller's LACO, the first high-Tc superconductor. What was significant about YBCO was that it was the first superconductor discovered that has a Tc above liquid nitrogen temperature. This is important because it allows one to have a superconductor using a relatively cheap cooling source, rather than using liquid helium.

This, of course, was the trigger for the "Physics Woodstock" at the 1987 APS March Meeting in New York. Ah, the good old days!



Anonymous said...

It was long due. I know some of his students and they really didn't get to learn anything from him since he was never in town. Maybe now, the new students will actually get to work with him, not just for him.

On the other hand, there is now only about 2-3 professors at UH working on superconductors. All the others either retired or switch to newer and easier funded fields.

Anonymous said...

Concerning "he was never in town," he was also never in town when he supposedly made the great discovery credited to him that he has since conceded he didn't do.

Too bad for Houston.