APS News

In Brief

Led by the American Chemical Society, the scientific community has come out strongly for the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty. In a letter to members of the Senate, APS President Allan Bromley supported the ACS position to ratify the treaty, which was spelled out in a letter from then ACS President, Ronald Breslow. The treaty was signed by President George Bush in 1993 and seemed headed for ratification until Bob Dole raised it as a campaign issue last fall. Jesse Helms (R-NC), the Foreign Relations Committee chair, vows to block the CWC until he gets his way on other legislation, although Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) could decide to overrule Helms.

In February, President Clinton announced the appointment of a co-chair and 19 members to a new Advisory Committee on High-Performance Computing and Communications, Information Technology, and the Next Generation Internet. The Advisory Committee will provide guidance and advice on all areas of high performance computing, communications and information technologies. Co-chaired by Dr. Kenneth Kennedy, Director of the Center for Research on Parallel Computation at Rice University, the committee members include Larry Smarr, Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and an APS Fellow.

Two prominent physicists and lifetime APS members who died in February are to be honored with special sessions at the 1997 April APS meeting. Chien-Shung Wu, the first woman to be elected APS president in 1975, and Henry (Heinz) H. Barschall, a former editor of Physical Review C, will be memorialized by friends and colleagues for their contributions to physics and their service to the Society.

The APS Forum on Physics and Society and the APS Division of Nuclear Physics will co-sponsor a session on Sunday, April 20, at 11 AM in honor of Barschall, who was a professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin at the time of his death. Featured speakers will include APS President D. Allan Bromley and Robert Sachs, who will speak on Barschall's contributions to the National Academy of Sciences; former APS Treasurer Harry Lustig on his contributions within the APS; Ruth Howes, who worked closely with Barschall on the APS Forum on Physics and Society; Jay C. Davis, a student of Barschall's; and two former students, Robert Adair and Sam Austin. Lustig also spoke at a memorial session for Barschall in Madison, Wisconsin, on March 15.

The APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics will include a special memorial lecture on Wu's contributions at the beginning of its session entitled "Women in Physics: An International Perspective," which will be held Saturday, April 19, 1997, at 5:30 pm. Noemie Benczer-Koller of Rutgers University will deliver the address. In addition, T.D. Lee will speak about Wu and her work during the Plenary Session on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 pm. Wu is best known for leading the 1957 experiment that demolished what was thought to be a fundamental law of physics, the conservation of parity. One of the leaders of physics who emerged from the Manhattan Project, she resolved a major problem that occured in the first plutonium production reactor at Hanford, which had shut down just hours after it was started. She fingered Xe-137, a fission product and neutron absorber, as the culprit. The remainder of her career was spent at Columbia University.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) Corporate Associates program announces the 1997-1998 competition for its Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics. The $10,000 prize is intended to recognize outstanding contributions to industrial applications of physics. The deadline for receipt of nominations is May 31, 1997 at the American Institute of Physics, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Attn: Committee for the IAP Prize.

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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin