“I went into this putting myself in the mindset of a nuclear proliferator in Iran and saying, ‘What if I try that? If we find this is impossible or blocked by the agreement, what are the alternatives?’ So you go through these ‘what if’ questions, making sure we have all the leaks plugged.”
Bill Foster, U.S. Congress, on the Iran nuclear deal, Science, September 9, 2015.

“This was helped by the fact I didn’t drive like a lunatic.”
Chad Orzel, Union College, New York, in explaining the physics of why his cell phone didn’t slide off his car roof, DailyMail.com, September 2, 2015.

“There’s a limit to how loose the strings should be. A butterfly net would clearly be no good.”
Howard Brody, who passed away on August 11, in an earlier interview on the physics of tennis rackets, The New York Times, August 18, 2015.

“It was an incredibly big breakthrough. … But nobody seems to care.”
Siegfried Hecker, Stanford University, New York, on Iran’s agreement to give up plutonium production, while most of the world’s attention has been on uranium, The New York Times, September 7, 2015.

“I don’t expect them to understand everything I do … but the fact that they don’t consult with experts and then charge me? Put my family through all of this? Damage my reputation? They shouldn’t do this. This is not a joke. This is not a game.”
Xiaoxing Xi, Temple University, following the U.S. government’s dismissal of charges against him for sharing sensitive technology with China, The New York Times, September 11, 2015.

“I just want to say, you are my ideal student. … As a theoretical physicist, I would love it if you took an interest in the mathematical side, although you’re clearly very adept with your hands and at building things.”
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, MIT, in speaking with Ahmed Mohamed, the high-school student in Texas who was arrested for bringing his home-made digital clock to school, Huffingtonpost.com, September 17, 2015.

“You can memorize the periodic table, but that’s only 5 percent of the universe.”
Jonathan Feng, University of California at Irvine, on the search for dark matter, Popular Science, October 2015.

“We are there; we are in the ball-park now. It’s clear that this is going to be pulled off.”
Kip Thorne, California Institute of Technology, on the chances for detecting gravitational waves, The Nation (Pakistan), September 20, 2015.

“Less like Harry Potter’s cloak and more like Harry Potter’s shed.”
John Pendry, Imperial College London, commenting on the typical “cloaking” technology, Science, September 18, 2015.

“They get full grades for weirdness and paradoxicality.”
Seth Lloyd, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on a paper claiming that sending quantum messages becomes more difficult if there are more delivery options, Science News, September 22, 2015.


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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Emily Conover
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Art Director and Special Publications Manager: Kerry G. Johnson
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik

October 2015 (Volume 24, Number 9)

Table of Contents

APS News Archives

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Articles in this Issue
Open Access Could Mean Authors Pay to Publish
Physics in Iran After the Nuclear Agreement
CEO Robert Brown Discusses Plans for American Institute of Physics
Charges Dropped for Physicist Accused of Sharing Sensitive Technology with China
Blewett Fellowships Help Women Return to Physics
PhysTEC Book Shares Strategies for Educating Physics Teachers
Physicists Set Course for the Exascale
Cycling Across America … For Science!
Letters to the Editor
The Back Page
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Diversity Update
Profiles In Versatility