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The adhesive tape technique used by the recent Physics Nobel Laureates Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov has at least one precedent, although I suspect there could be more than one.
In 1966-67 I was a physics student at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, working in the lab of Professor Henn Soonpaa (formerly a research scientist at Honeywell). We were measuring how the resistivity of thin films of Bi8Te7S5 crystals might be affected by its thickness. Professor Soonpaa taught me the technique of peeling off layers of the film with scotch tape to obtain extremely thin samples. Eventually, the measured thickness of the film was down to 5 atoms thick. My recollection of that time is that very few people, if any, believe the film was that thin.
The published reference is E. Ugaz and H. H. Soonpaa, “Electrical conductivity in an extremely thin single crystal,” Solid State Comm. 6, 417 (1968).
Irving Lerch’s Back Page in the October APS News is completely wrong. There is no cover-up regarding tactical nuclear weapons because the US has none.
In 1991 President Bush (41) and Chairman Gorbachev agreed to mutually eliminate tactical, or battlefield, nuclear forces. The US promptly removed its tactical nukes. Since I retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, I no longer have access to intelligence information on whether the Russians have too. The US enduring stockpile consists of two land-based missile systems (ICBMs), two submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), two aerial bombs, and a warhead deployed on several cruise missiles. All are under control of STRATCOM, Strategic Command headquartered at Omaha. The army and surface navy including marines do not have any nuclear weapons. During the 1991 Gulf War, there were six nuclear-weapon-armed aircraft carriers prowling the waters off Iraq; during the 2003 Gulf War, there were aircraft carriers in the theater but they were not armed with nuclear weapons.
John L. Richter
With regard to the front-page article in the November APS News headlined, “Fox News Fails at Fact-Checking 101”: I do not speak for either Laura Ingraham or Fox News, and I did not see the program referred to. But I do frequently watch Fox News and observe Ingraham there. She is not a “correspondent” of Fox News. She is a commentator who sometimes appears on Fox and in many other venues. On Fox she always appears on “commentary” rather than “hard-news” programs and is frequently balanced by someone of opposite opinion. She is not a Fox employee and does not have access to Fox’s news-gathering (and-checking) ability. Since she is independent, Fox News cannot “retract” what she says, contrary to the implication of your article. Laura Ingraham is intentionally confrontational and sensational in her commentary, and because of your error the article gave the issue more exposure. I am surprised that Fox did not clarify her position.
J. Roland Gonano
Ed. Note: Not only did Fox News not clarify her position, they have been unwilling to discuss any attempt to correct the facts, despite much effort by APS to do so. And not only did they air Ingraham’s report (or “commentary”), they also simultaneously displayed a picture of Curtis Callan, thereby compounding the error and assuming at least some complicity in promulgating erroneous information.
I was disappointed to read your coverage of the Hal Lewis resignation and the accompanying piece on Fox News–both of which read more like partisan drivel than news meant for the membership of a premiere scientific society. Had APS News been interested in presenting its readers (most of whom are very educated scientists) with a balanced view of the controversy, it would have printed Lewis’s resignation letter along with President Callan’s response and let the reader make up his or her own mind. I could not miss the irony that the APS News response to a letter detailing how APS has stifled debate was to present only half of the story.
Ed. Note: Hal Lewis's letter is quite long and, as our story noted, available on the internet. We quoted from the letter in our story, and endeavored to present Lewis's main points as well as the APS rebuttal.
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