APS News

Members in the Media

First, some quotes relating to Hans Bethe, Nobel Prize winner and former APS President, who died in March:

"The thing that impressed me the most was that he had very muddy shoes and all the students called him Hans. So he was just the opposite of a European professor. That was part of his greatness. He was totally unpretentious and never tried to be bigger than he was."
—Freeman Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study, The New York Times,
March 8, 2005

"Hans came in with a pencil and paper and made more sense of what was coming out of the computer than the people who wrote the code."
—Edward Kolb, Fermilab, The Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2005

"Bethe systematically laid the theoretical foundations for nuclear physics with such clarity and care that they could be used to support major applications: stars and, later, reactors and bombs."
—Frank Wilczek, MIT, The Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2005 "

The biggest piece of advice he gave me—and my success is partly due to that—is that you should be able to use mathematics, but don't use more than you need for a particular problem. He always went for simplicity."
—Edwin Salpeter, Cornell University, The Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2005

"That creates a new way to control the properties of materials. Instead of changing composition, you can change size."
—Paul Alivisatos, UC Berkeley, on quantum dots, The New York Times,
February 22, 2005

"The most romantic goal is to be able to see signals from the early universe with gravitational waves. They would be the most valuable of all, because they're not absorbed like photons or electromagnetic waves are. It allows you to probe back to the very first instants after the Big Bang."
—Barry Barish, Caltech, on LIGO, MSNBC.com, February 19, 2005

"It's crazy to think that it's an innate difference. It's socialization. We've trained young women to be average. We've trained young men to be adventurous."
—Howard Georgi, Harvard University, on Harvard President Larry Summers' suggestion that innate differences might explain the low numbers of women in science, The New York Times, February 18, 2005

"All of a sudden, all these wires started heating up. Basically, I had created a bathroom heater."
—C.J. Ransom, on an experiment he did in his home when he was a child, the Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), March 6, 2005

"I think they are almost overtaking the men."
—Lilia Woods, University of South Florida, on the progress being made by women in science, St. Petersburg Times, February 26, 2005

"If you could actually make a quantum computer, you could solve problems that would take the age of the universe to solve."
—Ray Simmonds, NIST, Denver Post, February 25, 2005

"He is very interested in the foundations of religion and faith-based concepts and he discusses them in a manner that is very attractive for fellow scientists. He really thinks before he speaks. If there is an opposite of a loose cannon, that would be Charles Townes."
—Marvin Cohen, UC Berkeley, on Charles Townes, who won this year's Templeton Prize for progress or discoveries about spiritual reality, Christian Science Monitor, March 10, 2005

"They are much more similar than people generally accept. Science has faith. We make postulates. We can't prove those postulates, but we have faith in them."
—Charles Townes, UC Berkeley, on science and religion, Christian Science Monitor, March 10, 2005

"Anybody can go to Soudan during the summer, take the MINOS lab tour led by Minnesota state parks and go one-half mile underground and see exactly what scientists from all over the world are doing."
—Marvin Marshak, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune,
March 4, 2005

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette