I am writing to express to FPS members and the broad physics community my deepest sense of sorrow and stunned outrage for the events that shook our nation on September 11. By the nature of our work, many of us were all too close to the terror, either directly or indirectly. I am quite certain that there are many among us who are reeling from the loss of a relative, friend, or colleague. I grieve for all who have perished, who continue to suffer, and for all whose hearts were irreparably broken.
Physics is an international community built on shared knowledge, mutual respect, and networks and friendships that transcend national boundaries, religion, and political beliefs. The trans-nationalism of our community can be a positive force now, as it has been in the past. We must strive for resolution and justice while not singling out whole groups of people for hatred or retribution.
Within FPS, we have colleagues whose life work is dedicated to applying the abstractions of our science to solving real-world problems, particularly those of the geopolitical kind that occurred on September 11. As we recover from the shock and work through our grief and anger, we must renew our shared commitment to apply physics for the benefit of all humanity.
In grief and hope for the future,
Philip W. Hammer, PhD
Vice President, The Franklin Center
The Franklin Institute
222 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1194