John "Jan" Hall, 2005 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics for his work in harnessing light to make ultra-precise measurements, has donated his Nobel medal and accompanying original artwork to the university to inspire current and prospective students.
Hall, a fellow and senior research associate at JILA—a joint institute on campus between CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology—presented his Nobel medal in a May 8 reception at the Heritage Center in Old Main.
During the ceremony, Jan and Lindy Hall talked about their hope that students can view the symbols of achievement and “dream the big dream of advancement and success.”
“There could never be enough time or opportunity to deliver an individual message of hope, inspiration and encouragement to each individual,” Lindy Hall said at the reception. “Let the memorabilia begin that process and lead to ambitious goal-setting and remarkable outcomes.”
Jan Hall is one of five CU Boulder faculty members to win a Nobel Prize. The others include:
- Distinguished Professor Thomas Cech, who won the 1989 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery that RNA in living cells is not only a molecule of heredity but also can function as a biocatalyst.
- Distinguished Professor Carl Wieman of physics and NIST senior scientist Eric Cornell, also an adjoint professor in physics at CU Boulder, who shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in physics for their landmark creation of the world's first Bose-Einstein condensate--a new form of matter that occurs at just a few hundred billionths of a degree above absolute zero.
- David Wineland, a lecturer in the CU Boulder physics department and a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, who won the 2012 Nobel Prize for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems.
Hall’s Nobel Prize along with those from all of CU’s Nobel laureates will have an impressive impact when displayed in three locations on campus: the Heritage Center, the new Center for Academic Success and Excellence (CASE) and in the existing exhibit in the Duane Physics Building.
In celebration of receiving Hall’s Nobel Prize gold medal and diploma, the Heritage Center is planning a dedicated gallery to honor all five of the Nobel laureates. Previously, the museum received the replica medal and original diploma in chemistry from Tom Cech, the first CU Nobel Prize laureate. Exhibit panels will educate visitors about the creator of the prize, Alfred Nobel, and explain the history and the ceremonial traditions of receiving the Nobel Prize. Each of CU’s laureates will be featured with visual descriptions of their work and interactive video. A unique aspect of the display will be the panels dedicated to the Peace Prize listing CU faculty, staff and alumni who have participated in these significant humanitarian ventures.
The CASE building will become the gateway to CU Boulder with thousands of visitors, students, alumni and prospective students expected to pass through the doors each year. A display highlighting CU Boulder’s academic strengths and excellence will be installed with a panel dedicated to CU’s Nobel laureates.
A recently updated display in the Duane Physics Building highlights the Nobel laureates in the physics department. It includes photos of the faculty receiving their medals, replicas of the medals, copies of the artwork and in-depth descriptions of their scientific achievements.
These displays will showcase the ground-breaking scientific achievements conducted by all five Nobel laureates at CU Boulder.