APS News

Members in the Media

Ed. Note: Because of space pressure, Members in the Media has not appeared since the June issue. The quotes below are from May and June; we didn't want to let the good ones slip away even if they are not the most recent.


"There could be wild and crazy solutions to this problem."
- Rick Smalley, Rice University, on using nanotechnology to solve the energy crisis, Houston Chronicle, May 4, 2003


"The issue is not testing or developing new designs; it's deciding if you want to package one so it can penetrate deeper without destroying itself by detonating."
-Sidney Drell, SLAC, on researching low-yield weapons, Washington Post, May 5, 2003


"There are almost no public funds. And because of the condition of the stock market, it's very difficult to come up with private funds."
-Christopher McKee, UC Berkeley, on trying to keep the physics department healthy, San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2003


"If you want to be really good at science, if you're really serious, it's a 60- to 80-hour-a-week job. You don't want distractions. You want quiet. This is a good place to do science."
-Rick Nebel, Los Alamos, Mother Jones, May 1, 2003


"Science isn't just another subject. We aren't talking about populating one sector, the high-tech sector [with employees], we are talking about the health of our economy overall."
-Rush Holt, Member of Congress, National Journal, May 7, 2003


"The main message is we have to be a bit modest and listen to what the local people say. We don't seem to be doing very well with modesty lately."
-Freeman Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study, on using technology to help people, Portland Oregonian, May 7, 2003


"It is as surprising as thinking the Earth was round and finding it flat."
- John Ralston, University of Kansas, on the discovery that protons have different shapes, Dallas Morning News, May 3, 2003


"Imagine there's this dance hall that you're not allowed into, but you know that everyone inside is having a great time. You know that inside there's a beautifully elaborate dance going on. It's all choreographed and the dancers are whirling around and switching partners. Now imagine that it's your job to try and figure out what that dance is without going into the dance hall."
-Matthew Fisher, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, on doing physics research, Santa Barbara Daily Nexus, May 16, 2003


"We got a lot of calls from nuclear experts and they said, 'Are you guys nuts? Why did you do that?' But we also got a lot of calls from our relatives and friends, who said, 'I feel so much better after having seen that.' The experts assume that people are starting with a blank slate. But the reality is they are starting with the assumption that tens of thousands of people will die."
-Michael Levi, Federation of American Scientists, on the making of a PBS documentary about dirty bombs that included an estimate of radioactive contamination, USA Today, May 15, 2003


"I have probably thought about physics every day for the past 50 years."
-Marvin Cohen, UC Berkeley, The Economist, June 19, 2003


And finally, some comments by Janet Conrad, of Columbia University, from the profile of her in the New Yorker, June 2, 2003: "I remember standing there and looking at the northern lights, and it was so neat that something so remote, so very far away, could be creating something so beautiful right in front of my eyes."


"Electronics really isn't that different from cooking or sewing. There's a certain set of rules that you follow, a certain set of parameters. You may want to try variations on a theme, but, once you know your patterns, it's pretty easy."


"It's really bad when the waitress at the airport starts to know you." On meeting her husband, who teaches in New Mexico, at Chicago's O'Hare Airport for dinner.


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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette