“For years, the United States has built itself with talented individuals from abroad. At the same time, many of our young people are not so interested in science and engineering. A number of us who came of age in the post-Sputnik and post-Apollo era are reaching retirement age. Something like 40 percent of the PhDs in science and engineering we turn out every year are born abroad. But we don’t make it so easy to stay here anymore. And the world has changed. Many of the opportunities are now in their home countries. We also need to look at our domestic talent. Women, underrepresented minorities and boys, too. This is a quiet crisis. People don’t pay attention until it creeps up on us. It can’t be fixed overnight. It takes decades to fix.”
Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The Houston Chronicle, October 16, 2012.

“They’re not breaking any laws of physics here, so they could be really clever chemists.”
Paul Padley, Rice University, on the possibility of extracting gasoline from its byproducts in the atmosphere, The Houston Chronicle, October 23, 2012.

“The situation created by the sentencing yesterday on the facts from L’Aquila is incompatible with a clear and effective performance of the functions of the commission and its role as a consulting body for the state.”
Luciano Maiani, Universitià di Roma la Sapienza, after resigning in protest over the conviction for manslaughter of six geologists in Italy, CNN.com, October 23, 2012.

“The vacuum energy or dark energy which is dominating the universe today is not eternal. It won’t last forever… It’s actually unstable, and when it decays, it will create the next big bang.… It’s not a one-off universe, which started and will sort of last in empty eternity, dominated by dark energy. In fact, the universe cycles again and again through big bang after big bang after big bang.”
Neil Turok, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, CBCNews.com, November 2, 2012.

“Take an object. It’s the mass of that object times it’s velocity… When a coach says his team has momentum, or a political figure says, ‘My campaign has momentum,’ they mean it’s moving. And they mean it’s moving in a certain direction–like up, for example, rather than down.”
John Hauptman, Iowa State University, NPR.com, November 3, 2012.

“In the satellite maps, we can see a man-made texture on the soil, a huge band which seems created by relatively small holes or mounds… This curious texture on the desert soil was probably produced by the pinpointing of geophysical [research].”
Amelia Carolina Sparavigna, Polytechnic University of Turin, from her paper describing mysterious grid patterns in Western China, FoxNews.com, November 5, 2012.

“I suspect the realities of the budget would mean that there isn’t going to be a lot of difference between them… The Obama Administration has consistently understood the science, especially regarding Earth monitoring, more than the Republicans.”
Lawrence Krauss, Arizona State University, on the future of NASA’s budget under either president Obama or Romney, CBSNews.com, November 6, 2012.

“It’s a stepping stone on the development of new technologies.”
Anton Zeilinger, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, on reaching a new milestone for entangling photons, CBSNews.com, November 6, 2012.

“Well, what’s at stake for science is also what is at stake for the nation. If we go off the fiscal cliff, and I’m not sure that’s the right term for it, but if we go off the fiscal slope, several things are going to happen. Number one, the economy is likely to contract. That means that federal revenues will decline, and that means there’ll be less money available to spend on a variety of programs, including science.”
Michael Lubell, APS, National Public Radio, November 9, 2012.

“Right now, the central value of the measurement is remarkably close to the central value of the Standard Model prediction… That means that masses of these supersymmetric particles are either heavier than optimists had suspected before, or there’s something funny about the spectrum [of supersymmetric particle masses] that suppresses these signals.”
Lance Dixon, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, on results from the LHC that seem to reduce the likelihood of supersymmetry, NBCNews.com, November 12, 2012.

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Editor: Alan Chodos

December 2012 (Volume 21, Number 11)

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Articles in this Issue
March Meeting Heads for Crab Country
New APS Award to Recognize Advanced Lab Instruction
Student Petition Pleads for Rational Congressional Action
Communication Breakdown Played Role in Scientists’ Convictions
APS Partners with New System to Create Unique Identifiers
Double Whammy Doesn’t Derail APS Plasma Physics Meeting
Foster Victory Adds 2nd Physicist to Congress
New APS Online Store Sells Items with a Physics Theme
Matching Funds Bring Bouchet Endowment Campaign Closer to the Finish Line
Four Departments Gain Distinction in Improving Physics Education
Letters to the Editor
The Back Page
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Washington Dispatch
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science
International News
Focus on APS Sections