APS News

June 1996 (Volume 5, Number 6)

News

Metallic Hydrogen, Magnetic Surgery Mark 1996 March Meeting
More than 4,500 physicists gathered in St. Louis for the Society's annual March Meeting.
 
Journal Embargo Policies Spark Controversy
The APS and AIP are getting involved in the controversy surrounding the embargo policies of such journals as Science and Nature.
 
Livermore Scientists Achieve Metallic Hydrogen
The first confirmed formation of a metallic state of hydrogen was announced by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
 
U.S. Science Policy Shifting in Era of Political Change
The end of the Cold War and accelerated globalization of the American economy are shifting long-held rationales for policies on scientific research and education.
 
TV Series Documents Changing Face of Science in America
In April, Maryland Public Television aired a six-part documentary series profiling 20 contemporary African-American, Latino and Native American scientists and engineers who are making advances in biology, astronomy, physics and many other scientific disciplines.
 
Magnetic System Promises to Improve Brain Surgery
Scientists have developed a computer-controlled magnetic system for delivering therapeutic agents to the brain.
 
Information Theory Provide Unified Framework for Neuroscience
A new framework is emerging for understanding the complexities of the neural encoding of sensory information in living organism, based on information theory.
 
Stochastic Resonance Can Help Improve Signal Detection
Adding random noise to certain electronic devices and biological systems can counter-intuitively increase the detectability of signals and the transmission efficiency of information.
 
Scientists Seek Further Improvements to Quantum Measurements and Standards
Scientists continue to find ways to improve measurement techniques and devices, in such areas as better atomic clocks, measuring the mass of the kilogram, and redefining the Coulomb.
 
Biosensors Provide Near-Single-Molecule Sensitivity
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have developed a novel, high-sensitivity biosensor for such applications as environmental monitoring and clinical tests.
 
Women in Physics Make Modest Gains, While Minorities Remain Level
Over the last 30 years, the percentage of physics Ph.D.s awarded to women annually has risen from 3% to 12%, but the number received by African-Americans and Hispanics has remained level at 1%.
 
Session Marks Centenary Of Discovery Of Radioactivity
February 24th marked the 100th anniversary of the first scientific presentation by French physicist Henri Becquerel that led to the discovery of radioactivity.
 
The Curies: The Very Model of Modern Spousal Collaboration
Marie and Pierre Curie provide women scientists with a prime example of successful spousal collaboration.
 
UNESCO Meeting Outlines Current and Future Practices
An informal meeting was held in March to discuss UNESCO's science activities, current priorities and future plans.
 
Physics of High and Low Level Waste Management Explored
Public policy issues and concern over the management and disposal of high and low level radioactive waste were explored by speakers at a session sponsored by the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics.
 
Scientists Simulate Vortices Flowing Through Superconductor
A new computer simulation is enabling scientists to "see" what is happening inside superconductors.
 
STM Key to Positioning Individual Molecules at Room Temperature
STMs can be used to move and precisely position specially designed individual molecules on a copper surface at room temperatures.
 
In Brief
The 1996 Rahman Prize was awarded to Steven G. Louie of the University of California, Berkeley; Javier Solana, a solid state physicist, is the new secretary-general of NATO; and the National Research Council is undertaking a series of reassessments of all branches of physics as the foundation for a new physics survey.

Opinion

APS Views
Minority Scholars Program is a Good Investment in Young Minds
 
Letters
CareerPlus, Pro and Con — The Editor Responds....
 
Questioning Affirmative Action
Elizabeth Baranger outlines the pros and cons of affirmative action policies in the U.S.
 
Going Against the Flow: A Sabbatical in Russia
Wallace Manheimer reflects on lessons learner from a recent trip to Russia.
 
The Back Page
The Future of the National Labs

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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin