APS News

Members in the Media

Ed. Note: We begin the “Members in the Media” column with several quotes from members about the nuclear disaster in Japan, as of March 15.

“The administration believes we must rely on a diverse set of energy sources, including renewables like wind and solar, natural gas, clean coal and nuclear power…The administration is committed to learning from Japan’s experience as we work to continue to strengthen America’s nuclear industry.”
Steven Chu, U.S. Department of Energy, The Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2011.

“They imply some kind of core problem.”
Thomas B. Cochran, the Natural Resources Defense Council, on the possible release of radioactive iodine and cesium from the Fukushima plant, The New York Times, March 12, 2011.

“The thyroid is more sensitive to damage when the cells are dividing and the gland is growing.”
Frank von Hippel, Princeton, on the dangers of radiation to children, The New York Times, March 12, 2011.

“As long as there’s no meltdown of the fuel rods, you’re in good shape.”
Kirby Kemper, Florida State University, on the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, The Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2011.

“Let’s say we have an 8.0 earthquake–smaller than the one that hit Japan–right on the San Andreas Fault… According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the devastation would be catastrophic. Downtown L.A. flattened. Forty percent could withstand an 8.0 earthquake, but 15 percent of the tall buildings are at risk and could, in fact, collapse.”
Michio Kaku, City College of New York, ABCNews.com, March 14, 2011.

“I was thinking, ‘What’s the scariest thing that I could make with nanotechnology?’”
Paul McEuen, Cornell, on the inspiration for his sci-fi novel “Spiral,” The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2011.

“We are now working to accumulate trillions of positrons or more in a novel ‘multicell’ trap–an array of magnetic bottles akin to a hotel with many rooms, with each room containing tens of billions of antiparticles.”
Clifford Surko, University of California, San Diego, describing his work to build the world’s largest antimatter trap, MSNBC.com, February 18, 2011.

“The magnitude of the whole thing was overwhelming as it detonated, sitting there in the desert in the early morning.”
Robert Carter, describing witnessing his work come to fruition while at the Manhattan Project, FoxNews.com, February 19, 2011.

 “You put energy into it, and some of that energy gets converted into that beautiful coherent light beam.”
Doug Stone, Yale, on developing an “anti-laser,” The New York Times, February 21, 2011.

“I am saying that all predictions concerning climate [change] are highly uncertain. On the other hand, the remedies proposed by the experts are enormously costly and damaging.”
Freeman Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study, The Independent, February 25, 2011.

“I wonder if Watson wasn’t having a low-voltage night, because I certainly didn’t expect to score higher than the computer.”
Rush Holt (D-N.J.) U.S. House of Representatives, after learning he beat the computer Watson in an online Jeopardy game, The Associated Press, March 2, 2011.

“I am pretty sure that once you admit exotic matter of some suitable kind, you can mathematically construct a star with a wormhole inside.”
Dieter Brill, University of Maryland, on a hypothesized “phantom matter” that could prop open a wormhole, United Press International, March 4, 2011.

“To me the problem of a notion of a theory of everything is that it implies we will eventually know everything there is to know...For me physics is a work in progress.”
Marcelo Gleiser, Dartmouth College, MSNBC.com, March 8, 2011.

“One of the attractive things about this approach to time travel is that it avoids all the big paradoxes…Because time travel is limited to these special particles, it is not possible for a man to travel back in time and murder one of his parents before he himself is born, for example. However, if scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets, they might be able to send messages to the past or future.”
Tom Weiler, Vanderbilt University, on his theory that the LHC could be used to create particles that can travel through time, FoxNews.com, March 16, 2011.

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Editor: Alan Chodos