APS News

Members in the Media

The Rocky Mountain News asked several March Meeting attendees the following question: “What is it in day-to-day life that baffles you?”

“Balancing my checkbook. We do so much math in our work that I’ve almost forgotten how to do the basic stuff, like trying to figure the tip at the restaurant last night. It was ridiculous. We had eight people there, and everybody pulled out their calculator.”–Mark Patty, University of Missouri

“I was helping my brother bleed the master cylinder on his truck. It should have been a simple problem to understand, but the solution was to take it to a garage and let them do it.”–Christopher Ashman, Naval Research Lab

“I find myself being awkward and having difficulty in conversation and in dealing with people. . . . I laugh a lot. I find random things funny, and I just start laughing out of nowhere. And people look at me like I’m crazy. I enjoy laughing.”–Mary E. Mills, College of Wooster

“I find it very interesting how cities work. There are a lot of people. And, from this, certain structures emerge. It somehow puzzles me because it’s structure out of chaos, and you can see this everywhere.” –Michael Buettner, University of Virginia

“The way people interact. People are impossible to understand.”– Michael Garrett, University of Calgary
“For 28 years, we’ve done what we wanted to do, and there’s no reason to stay and generate more of the same data. If people don’t believe us after all the results we’ve produced, then they never will.”
Robert Jahn, Princeton University, on the closing of Princeton’s engineering anomalies lab, which studied paranormal phenomena, The New York Times, February 10, 2007

“I don’t believe in anything Bob is doing, but I support his right to do it.”
Will Happer, Princeton University, on Robert Jahn’s studies of paranormal phenomena, The New York Times,  February 10, 2007

 “I get a huge range of questions. Kids read up before they come here and ask about Einstein and relativity. It’s very surprising.”
Michael Cooke, Fermilab, on visitors to Fermilab, the Daily Herald (suburban Chicago), February 12, 2007

“You can’t buy a $20 phone without being offered an extended warranty. If you said ‘No’ every single time, you would save more than enough in the long run to pay for the few repairs you actually need.”
Joseph Ganem, Loyola College, Baltimore Sun, February 18, 2007

“It doesn’t feel like playing a game; it doesn’t feel like chess; it doesn’t feel like solving a puzzle; puzzles are invented by humans. In physics, there’s a sense of discovery, and what it contains is far beyond what we imagined we could have imagined.”
Nima Arkani-Hamed, Harvard University, on what motivates scientists, the Globe and Mail, February 12, 2007

“Elegant laws of physics give you boring universes that don’t have anything in them.”
Joe Lykken, Fermilab, Washington Post Magazine, February 18, 2007

“If we’re going to delay global warming, what we can do in a big hurry is energy efficiency: better cars, better buildings, better industry.”
Arthur Rosenfeld, California Energy Commission, Washington Post, February 17, 2007

“It leads you to wonder whether they kind of got lucky. But the fact remains that the patterns are tantalizingly close to having the structure that Penrose discovered in the mid-70s.”
Joshua Socolar, Duke University, on a study that found that some medieval Islamic art exhibits sophisticated geometrical patterns, Reuters, February 26, 2007

“Bubble chamber pictures have played an important role in conveying science without oversimplifying the fundamentals. It’s like, ‘What you see is what you get.’ These pictures are, in my mind, masterpieces of nature’s abstract art.”
Vivek Sharma, UC San Diego, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 1, 2007

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Contributing Editor: Jennifer Ouellette
Staff Writer: Ernie Tretkoff