A congratulations to Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize physicist who, as you may have heard, Obama named as the Secretary of Energy. His work on the laser cooling of atoms ( a more conceptual discussion can be here, and a cute little atom cooling game here).
Lately, of course, he has been involved in trying to develop technologies that reduce greenhouse gases and has been advocating for more research into alternative energies. His appointment as Secretary of Energy is a welcome and hopeful sign of things to come. He seems extremely qualified and capable for this position and I hope to see a real push towards coming up with viable solutions to solving our oil addiction while maintaining as much as possible, a decent standard of living.
If you are really interested in alternative and renewable energies, there is a conference, Retech 2009 to be held in Las Vegas, Feb. 25-27. Seems like a short time to cover all the alternatives, but looks like a good time. I hope that what happens in the conference doesn’t stay in Vegas.