APS News

March 2008 (Volume 17, Number 3)

Members in the Media

“About 90 percent of physics is common sense. The hard part is knowing which 10 percent is not common sense.”
Michael Doncheski, Penn State Mont Alto, Waynesboro Record Herald, January 28, 2008

“This is a wake-up call that small bodies in the solar system don’t necessarily come in two flavors. Instead, it’s more of a continuum.”
Hope Ishii, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, on the analysis from NASA’s Stardust spacecraft of material from comet 81P/Wild 2, which suggests that some comets are very asteroid-like, Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2008

“The support of physical science throughout the United States has been falling victim to the latest congressional action in which the American competitiveness has not been supported.”
Maury Tigner, Cornell University, on cuts at Cornell University’s Laboratory of Elementary-Particle Physics, Ithaca Journal, February 8, 2008

“Finding these objects and discovering that they are a step in the evolution of our galaxy is akin to finding a key fossil in the path of human evolution.”
Eric Gawiser, Rutgers University, on the discovery of some distant spiral galaxies, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 12, 2008

“Physics is really good at explaining problems that are linear, with clear borders, where all the forces are local. But so much of everyday life is governed by systems that are not linear, not bordered, and not in equilibrium. Right beneath our nose there can be a deep physics problem.”
Sidney Nagel, University of Chicago, Chicago Tribune, January 29, 2008

“I cannot tell it’s not gold. It looks very pretty.”
Chunlei Guo, University of Rochester, on his method of using ultrashort laser pulses to make other metals look like gold, The New York Times, January 31, 2008

“There’s going to be a lot of white knuckles, frankly, as building does not go forward aggressively on any kind of plant, and demand keeps going up.”
Ernest Moniz, MIT, on possible electricity shortages in coming years, The New York Times, February 5, 2008

“I believe in free speech, and I certainly respect the right of Code Pink to protest. But I’m also concerned we treat all sides fairly, and I think the Marine recruiters are just doing their job. They’re not evil people.”
Gordon Wozniak, retired nuclear scientist and Berkeley city council member, on the city council’s decision to allow an anti-war group called Code Pink to protest in a parking spot in front of a marine recruiting station, The New York Times, February 1, 2008

“It’s exciting to be able to take this inanimate object and then apply a technical set of measurements and then hear a human voice from 100 years ago.”
Carl Haber, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, on a method of preserving old audio recordings, The Press Democrat, February 9, 2008

“What you do in school that’s called a lab experiment is not really an experiment, because you already know the answer. When you listen to a driver and his crew chief trying to figure out how to give the car more grip in Turn 2, that’s the scientific method in action. They’re asking questions about load transfer and downforce, and they don’t know the answers until they’ve done the experiment.”
Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, University of Nebraska, on the physics of Nascar, The New York Times, February 12, 2008

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

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

March 2008 (Volume 17, Number 3)

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Articles in this Issue
March Meeting in New Orleans Spans Broad Range of Topics
Outstanding Referees Gain Overdue Recognition
Conference Takes a Critical Look at Graduate Education
Named Lecturers To Speak at March, April Meetings
Mixed Picture Emerges from Science and Engineering Indicators
Einstein@Home Scours the Heavens for Gravity Waves
New Policy Makes APS Membership Easier in Developing Countries
Over 300 Universities Endorse Joint Statement on Education
APS Valley Prize Rewards Tomorrow’s Physicists
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Washington Dispatch
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science
International News
Focus on APS Topical Groups
The Back Page