"If there were no other energy sources, you could have a fusion reactor in 10 years' time."
—John Perkins, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Contra Costa Times, July 3, 2002.
"I'm completely snowed by the cosmic background radiation. The signal was so weak it wasn't even detected until 1965, and now they're measuring fluctuations of one part in 100,000."
—Alan Guth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York Times, July 23, 2002.
"To someone who's interested in new sources for power stations, it would be very boring."
—Seth Putterman, UCLA, on possible fusion inside a sonoluminescent bubble, Chicago Tribune, July 25, 2002.
"When you send your credit card number off to Amazon, the reason that it is safe is that nobody can figure out how to factor really big numbers."
—David Kielpinski, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dallas Morning News, July 9, 2002.
Two comments on Stephen Wolfram's book "A New Kind of Science", from the Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2002:
"Wolfram's naivete about biological complexity is stunning.We call this 'crackpot science.' "
—Chris Adami, Caltech
"The modern approach in much of science has been reductionist: You take a complicated thing and split it up into units that are less complicated. Wolfram's approach is the direct opposite: Start with simplicity instead of complexity. If he's right, this could be a huge step forward in the way we approach scientific problems — and maybe most complicated issues in life as a whole."
—Raymond Jeanloz, University of California at Berkeley
"In a different life, I could have been a farmer instead of a physicist."
—Bruce Barnett, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Sun, July 15, 2002.
"This is the strongest material that will ever be made."
—David Luzzi, University of Pennsylvania, on carbon nanotubes, New York Times, July 16, 2002.
"We're not designing 'dirty bombs. It also does not involve weapon 'pits' manufacturing."
—Bruce Goodwin, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, on renewed plans to purify plutonium, San Jose Mercury News, July 17, 2002.
Three comments on the apparent fraud in data reporting the discovery of elements 118 and 116:
"Why would somebody put his or her life's reputation at stake and make a data fabrication? It's just crazy, because such things are brought to light sooner or later. There are very few cases like this, but they give us (nuclear scientists) a black eye."
—Witek Nazarevicz, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, San Francisco Chronicle, July 21, 2002.
"There was extreme reliance on one individual because he was considered to be the world's greatest expert in this area. He was the heart and soul of putting the experiment together. [Fraud] was the last thing anyone would have expected."
—Pier Oddone, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2002.
"So far I wasn't able to discover a mistake from my side and I disagree with the laboratory that I fabricated the data because I just simply didn't have a motivation for this. I mean, what was my profit or would have been my profit? "
—Victor Ninov, formerly of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Public Radio, September 5, 2002. [Ninov is not an APS member-Ed.]
"The Chinese are three to five years ahead of us on this. I don't know why we're not doing it here."
—Larry Crum, University of Washington, on using intense ultrasound to treat cancer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 30, 2002.
"We're telling them, 'Look, you guys, get the damn answer on the table'."
—Thomas Kirk, Brookhaven National Laboratory, on the lack of a good theoretical number to compare with the g-2 experiment, New York Times, July 31, 2002.
"Folks trying to catalyze political action need to have some visible symptom to get peoples' attention. So if you have a really hot summer, forest fires, hurricanes, the temptation is to use these things to get the political support you need. It's not really scientific, but it's understandable."
—Steve Fetter, University of Maryland, Baltimore Sun, July 28, 2002.
"Independent development of efficient and compact fission weapons, or thermonuclear weapons of any kind, could not be accomplished by countries new to nuclear weapons without nuclear testing highly likely to be detected."
—John Holdren, Harvard University, on the feasibility of a comprehensive test-ban treaty, San Francisco Chronicle, August 1, 2002.
"In principle, one ought to be able to build a device that would register balls and strikes. You don't even need the umpire to call them. But the question is whether one should do that, and that's a sociological- entertainment-baseball-history problem."
—Robert K. Adair, Yale University, Wired Magazine, August 8, 2002.
"Why did [Wimmer] pick a human disease which conjures up terrifying images? It's being done more for effect and less for the advancement of science."
—Steven Block, Stanford University, on the construction of a polio virus in the laboratory, Time Magazine, July 22, 2002.
"We will be able to contribute not only for our research, but for the cause as well."
—Hongxing Jiang, Kansas State University, on using ultraviolet light sources to detect biological weapons, Wichita Eagle, August 19, 2002.
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Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette