“In the robotics world this is very, very exciting because it’s a blob that has no hard components in it… For us mere mortals, we would say, ‘Well, gee, isn’t that just a deflated soccer ball?’ But it is a big deal because of the potential that it holds. ... You can imagine that it would have, for example, a payload that it could take with it and then disperse at the other end. Or it could pick up some liquid that’s maybe dangerous and bring it to a decontamination area.”
Heinrich Jaeger, University of Chicago, on his research building flexible robots, Chicago Tribune, December 16, 2012.
“I tell people, don’t quit your day job, pay your rent, and for God sakes, do your laundry.”
Michio Kaku, CCNY, on what he says to people who thought the world would end on 12/21/12, CNN.com, December 21, 2012.
“For nearly a century, astronomers have studied a mysterious substance that appears to fill our universe and that we ignorantly refer to as dark matter. One of the reasons we believe this substance exists is that when we study galaxies, the stars in the galaxies move as if only ~10% of the mass in the galaxy is located in the stars. Indeed, the name ‘dark matter’ reflects our belief that this matter exists, but we can’t see it.”
Bhaskar Dutta and David Toback, Texas A&M University, The Houston Chronicle, December 26, 2012.
“We’re not coming up with new color names or descriptions for things we’ve already established… A lot of the new words that we see are related to computers.”
Alex Petersen, IMT Lucca, on the usage of newly invented words, FoxNews.com, December 28, 2012.
“In measuring a gas at room temperature, that means atoms, molecules are racing around, some at slow velocities, some at faster velocities. But there’s more atoms at slow velocities than at fast velocities. As you heat the gas up, many more atoms go to fast velocities. At very, very high temperatures, like on the sun, there are more atoms–there are almost equal numbers of atoms at different speeds. Now if you give more energy to the gas into a system where there are more atoms that are moving at high velocities than at low velocities, this corresponds to a negative temperature, something that would not easily naturally occur.”
Vladan Vuletic, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on how a temperature can be “negative,” NPR, January 4, 2013.
“There is an all-star cast here… It didn’t hurt that we had a major discovery; that played a central role in many of the discussions.”
Howard Haber, University of California Santa Cruz, on a recent symposium about the Higgs boson and supersymmetry, San Jose Mercury News, January 6, 2013.
“Making the transition from graduate student to postdoc is a difficult step…They had a huge effect on my career; they set me up.”
Patrick Fox, Fermilab, on how UCSC helped with his career, San Jose Mercury News, January 6, 2013.
“My research shows that based on the physics and physiology that we know muscle mass from steroid use is sufficient to turn a player with the home run productivity of a Hank Aaron into a player with the home run activity of Barry Bonds. So in that sense, no, I don’t think the impact of PEDs is overstated.”
Roger Tobin, Tufts University, Time Magazine, January 10, 2013.
“Do you lie awake at night wondering if you should be looking for something positive?”
Jay Pasachoff, Williams College, asking physicists if they thought that repeated negative results in the hunt for dark matter and dark energy was discouraging, The Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2013.
“It’s not just one new particle and we’re done… Hopefully there are new forces in the dark sector. … It could be a whole new branch of physics, and we just don’t know until we look.”
Douglas Finkbeiner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, on the hunt for dark matter, The Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2013.
“We have demonstrated that you can make a clock from a single massive particle.”
Justin Brown, University of California , Berkeley, on his team’s atomic clock based on a single atom, MSNBC.com, January 11, 2013.
“They could put up something that would look like a credible missile but ... it’s not really much of a threat… They have no idea whether it’s going to blow up on the launch pad or dump one of their precious nuclear weapons into the Pacific Ocean.”
David Wright, Union of Concerned Scientists, on the missile threat from North Korea, The Los Angeles Times, January 13, 2013.
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Staff Science Writer: Michael Lucibella