The Energy Problem: What the Helios Project Can Do About It

By Steven Chu

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu talks about the Helios Project for the 'Science at the Theater' series at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California on April 23, 2007. He propses an aggressive research program to transform the existing and future energy systems of the world away from technologies that emit greenhouse gases. The energy problem is one of the most important issues that science and technology has to solve. The scientific evidence is clear: The earth’s climate is warming as a result of human activity, largely through our use of fossil fuels, which emit greenhouse gases that add carbon to the atmosphere. Projections on climate change predict a growing threat to society: the shrinking ice cap, decreased water supply, drought, huge population dislocations, effects on agriculture, etc. The challenge is to find and develop zero-carbon energy sources on a mass scale.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Helios Project concentrates on renewable fuels, such as biofuels, and solar technologies, including a new generation of solar photovoltaic cells and the conversion of electricity into chemical storage to meet future demand.


Steven Chu Dr. Steven Chu is the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and professor of Physics and Cellular and Molecular Biology of the University of California, Berkeley. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji of France and United States colleague William D. Phillips.

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  • Steven Chu (2007), "The Energy Problem: What the Helios Project Can Do About It,"

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Berkeley Repertory Theater, Berkeley, CA


Joe Ringgenberg1, Jeffrey B. Neaton2, Jeffrey C Grossman3

1. University of California, Berkeley 2. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology