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“What you get from classical general relativity, and also what everyone understands about a black hole, is that it can absorb anything that comes near, but it can’t emit anything. But quantum mechanics doesn’t allow such an object to exist.”
Edward Witten, Institute for Advanced Study, The Christian Science Monitor, August 3, 2012.
“I haven’t heard directly from him, but I assume I will soon, in some interesting way.”
Gordon Kane, University of Michigan, on whether Stephen Hawking has settled up after losing a bet over whether the Higgs boson exists, The New York Times, August 6, 2012.
“I have not seen them, since they are carefully enclosed in their Styrofoam, but I trust they are in excellent shape!”
Janet Conrad, MIT, on the condition of ten chocolate Nobel Prize coins she owes Frank Wilczek after the discovery of the Higgs boson, The New York Times, August 6, 2012.
“I really enjoyed the film ‘Armageddon’ and up until recently never really considered the plausibility in the science behind the movie… But after watching it back, I found myself being more skeptical about the film in many areas.”
Ben Hall, University of Leicester, on his team’s paper pointing out that it would take more nuclear weapons than exist worldwide to blow up an incoming, Texas-sized asteroid, The Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2012.
“After eight years building the instrument, it’s payoff time!”
Roger Wiens, Los Alamos National Laboratory, on the Mars Curiosity rover’s rock-melting laser, The Christian Science Monitor, August 20, 2012.
“It’s pretty amazing… It was the ‘60s. There was no Power Point. There was no (computer-assisted design), really, and a handful of people built this thing… And it’s still useful today.”
Mark Hogan, SLAC, describing the particle accelerator, The San Jose Mercury News, August 24, 2012.
“This is a phenomenal set of instruments… This is the best that’s ever been flown in the radiation belts, and we’ll make tremendous advances.”
Craig Kletzing, University of Iowa, on the launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes en route to Earth’s Van Allen belts, FoxNews.com, August 30, 2012.
“Think of it as a violin or a guitar string… If you put a little blob of solder on it, the weight would make the frequency change, ever so slightly.... That’s what we’re measuring.”
Michael Roukes, Caltech, describing his team’s development of a nano-sized scale that can weigh large individual molecules, Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2012.
“We know that the Standard Model of particle physics fits all the data we have here on Earth. On the other hand, it’s not the final answer. It’s inelegant in various ways, and it doesn’t fit the data that we have from the sky. There’s no dark matter in the Standard Model. We need to move beyond the Standard Model if we want to have a full understanding.”
Sean Carroll, Caltech, NBC.com, September 5, 2012.
“This is a significant step toward a greater understanding of neutrinos… It represents many months of hard work on the part of the whole NOvA collaboration.”
Marvin Marshak, University of Minnesota, on the positioning of the first detector at the NOvA experiment in Ash River, Minnesota, NBCNews.com, September, 6, 2012.
“The Leidenfrost state of a water drop is often used worldwide to gauge the temperature of a hot skillet while cooking.”
Neelesh Patankar, Northwestern University, on his team’s research creating a material so smooth, bubbles won’t form when water is boiled in a pot coated with it, The Christian Science Monitor, September 14, 2012.
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Editor: Alan Chodos