“Well, there’s thousands of people involved in the program, hundreds of professional scientists at his level… killing one of them is not going to have a big impact on the program… There’s a lot of Iranians who can step up to the plate in order to help improve or fulfill Iranian needs for its equipment. Now, a lot of those efforts are being stopped. And we don’t know how good this guy was. You know, he was a brilliant, in a sense, smuggler. His loss may be significant. If he was average, he can easily be replaced.”
David Albright, Institute for Science & International Security, on the recent assassination of an Iranian physicist, PBS’s Newshour, January 12, 2012.

“Magnetic materials are extremely useful and strategically important to many major economies, but there aren’t that many of them… To make a brand new material is very intriguing and scientifically very important.”
Shan X. Wang, Stanford University, on a new 12-atom nanomaterial used to store digital information, The New York Times, January 12, 2012.

“If you do this with two atoms, then they behave more like a quantum mechanical object,” Dr. Heinrich said. “This is why science is interested in this work more than the technology.”
Andreas Heinrich, IBM, on a new 12-atom nanomaterial used to store digital information, The New York Times, January 12, 2012.

“El Gordo is at a distance that corresponds to a distance of about seven billion light years–we’re looking at it at a time that the Universe was only half as old as it is now, when structure was forming at a different rate… By looking at and understanding the properties of El Gordo, we’re able to understand the time evolution of the structure formation of the Universe.”
Jack Hughes, Rutgers University, on discovering the largest galaxy cluster ever seen, dubbed El Gordo, BBC News, January 10, 2012.

“Because it would be electrically powered by ASRGs (Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators), we could theoretically go forever on that power…The nominal mission is a year, but we don’t really have an upper limit. We could maintain flight indefinitely.”
Jason Barnes, University of Idaho, on his idea to send a flying drone to Saturn’s moon Titan, MSNBC.com, January, 10, 2012.

“My goal is not to destroy religion, though in fact that would be an interesting side effect… It’s not any more my goal than it was Charles Darwin’s goal with his book [On the Origin of Species]. My goal is to use the hook of this fascinating question, which everyone asks, to motivate people to learn about the real universe.”
Lawrence Krauss, Arizona State University, discussing his new book which poses the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?,” MSNBC.com, January 9, 2012.

“It is significant because it opens up a whole new realm to ideas involving invisibility.”
Martin McCall, Imperial College London, on Cornell research into a “time cloak,” The Associated Press, January 9, 2012.

“I think it’s a big step forward…It’s another example of the beauty of ‘transformational optics,’ which is behind all these ideas.”
Vladimir M. Shalaev, Purdue, on Cornell research into a “time cloak,” The Washington Post, January 4, 2012.

 “I play around with Mathematica a lot… We were eating pasta, and I was wondering how easy these shapes would be recreated.”
Sander Huisman, University of Twente, on generating mathematical equations for pasta shapes, The New York Times, January 9, 2012.

“In recent years, people have found emergent behaviors that look very much like properties that seem fundamental. For example, the motion of electrons in a single layer of carbon atoms looks in many ways like special relativity. So, before the world ends, I’d like to know, deep down, is Nature reductionist or emergent?”
Doug Natelson, Rice University, upon being asked what one thing would he want to know if the world were about to end, The Houston Chronicle, January 7, 2012.

“First, you have to understand the size and scope of this problem. The debris field from this Japanese tragedy is the size of the state of California.”
Michio Kaku, City College of New York, on debris that washed up on the west coast of the United States, purportedly left over from the Japanese tsunami, CNN.com, December 29, 2011.

“Not only is the physics of ice crystals particularly rich, but experiments are pretty cheap and easy. As you can imagine, ice doesn’t have a lot of safety issues. For almost anything else you can think of growing, experiments are confounded by safety issues. Just about any chemical has hazards, so you have to spend a lot of money and time worrying about that. I just love the ability to be able to pour your experiment down the drain or just evaporate it into the air without any thought of safety.”
Kenneth Libbrecht, Caltech, on his work researching snowflakes, The Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2011.

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

February 2012 (Volume 21, Number 2)

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Articles in this Issue
APS Membership Soars Above 50,000 Benchmark
Four Distinguished Scientists to Give Beller, Marshak Lectures
Community Weighs Pros and Cons of Physics by Press Conference
Companies Pioneer New Nuclear Designs
APS Honoree Brandon Turner Named Rhodes Scholar
APS News Picks 2011’s Top 11 Physics Headlines
2011 in Review: Policy and Budget Highlights from FYI
Foundation Marks Its Centennial at APS March Meeting
The Back Page
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Inside the Beltway
Focus on APS Sections
The Educational Corner
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science