APS News

APS Establishes Task Force On Countering Terrorism

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and believing that science, and especially physics, has much to offer in countering further attacks, the APS has established a task force on countering terrorism, at the request of the APS Executive Board. The fledgling group will hold its first meeting on May 3rd at APS Headquarters in College Park, Maryland.

"The events of recent months have shaken our nation," APS President William Brinkman says of the rationale behind forming the task force. "The attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and the anthrax assaults in various locales, demonstrate the need for sustaining the strong partnership between science and government to ensure our national security."

Chaired by Bob Guenther of Duke University, the new task force has been given a very general charge, which reads in part: "The task force should survey current activities of the physics community in the area of counter-terrorism, help identify physics problems, and encourage physicists to find solutions."

In view of this mandate, APS members who can help with their knowledge or suggestions are urged to contact any one of the task force members.

"The objective of the task force is to identify areas where the physics community can step forward to assist the government in its response to the attack of September 11," said Guenther. "We would like to not only identify technological response to current threats but also how we might reduce future exposure through the development of new technologies,"

The other members of the task force are: Mark Coffey (TRW), Harold Craighead (Cornell), Leonard C. Feldman (Vanderbilt University), William R. Frazer (University of California, Berkeley, emeritus), Gerard P. Gilfoyle (University of Richmond), Martin V. Goldman (University of Colorado), Beverly K. Hartline (Argonne National Laboratory), and Paul Wolf (Air Force Institute of Technology).

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette