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March 2014 • Vol. 23, No.

Rethinking US Visa Policy

A Pu bl ic at i o n o f t he A m e r i c a n P h y s i c a l S o c i e t y
See Page 5

APS to Review Statement on Climate Change Proposed Soft Matter Topical Group
Preparations are under way by available at http://www.aps.org/pol- change and reviewing the roughly Soft matter scientists are work-
the APS Panel on Public Affairs icy/statements/climate-review.cfm 1,500-page climate change report ing to create an APS topical group
(POPA) to review and possibly up- The standing policy of the So- by the IPCC. for their research.
date the Society’s statement on ciety is to review its statements If a new statement is drafted, it The organizing committee for
climate change. In the coming every five years. The Society first will be submitted to the full POPA the group is being finalized, and
months, the APS membership will adopted the climate change state- committee in June. If approved by will soon start drafting by-laws and
have a chance to weigh in on any ment seven years ago, but append- POPA, it will go to the APS Ex- collecting signatures to form the
APS/Alan Stonebraker
proposed revisions before the So- ed an addendum in 2010. The re- ecutive Board for a vote. If ap- group.
ciety adopts a final draft. view also coincides with the release proved there, the proposed state- “It’s our hope that the APS an- Illustration of particle networks
responsible for the unusual
“We intend to keep the member- of the latest report on the physical ment will be posted on the Society’s nual meetings become the ‘go-to’ properties of discontinuous shear
ship informed at every stage in this science basis of climate change website for members to read and meetings for soft matter in the US,” thickening fluids.
process,” said Robert Jaffe, a phys- from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental comment on, likely sometime later said Sharon Glotzer of the Univer-
icist at MIT and Chair of POPA. Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). in 2014. sity of Michigan, the chair of the gels, and granular matter. The or-
“We’re quite eager to make sure Once all of the comments have organizing committee. ganizers have been working with
that the revision of the climate “We intend to keep the member- been collected, POPA will again She added that members of the other groups and divisions to coor-
change statement is done in the ship informed at every stage in review the statement and may re- research community are working dinate the formation of the new
most open and orderly way.” this process.” vise it further based on members’ to create the new topical group be- group.
The subcommittee of POPA that input. It will then go to the Execu- cause the field has been expanding “The executive committee of
is conducting the review posted its tive Board and the full Council for over the last few years. DPOLY [the APS Division of Poly-
background and research materials The months-long process started a vote on whether the statement “Soft matter is one of the most mer Physics] is very pleased that
to the APS website, along with its last year with the formation of the should be officially adopted in its rapidly growing areas of physics APS has found a way forward to
charge. The research materials in- subcommittee and a steering com- final form. right now,” Glotzer said. “You don’t address the concerns and the needs
clude the transcripts of the subcom- mittee, which is guiding the sub- “We’re not rushing this. Climate feel a strong presence of soft matter of the soft matter community,” said
mittee’s January workshop, bio- committee through the review. In science and climate change will be within the community because it’s Karen Winey of the University of
graphical information on outside addition to weighing the opinions around a long time and we want to spread apart.” Pennsylvania and the chair of
climate experts who participated in of experts from its workshop, the get this right before sending it out This subfield of condensed mat- DPOLY. “Soft matter topics used
the workshop, and their slide pre- review subcommittee is researching to the membership for review and ter physics includes researchers
sentations. These materials are now information related to climate comment,” Jaffe said. working on foams, colloids, liquids, DPOLY continued on page 7

CUWiP Connects Women for Success Funding for Physical Sciences Shows Some Gains
By Jessica Orwig Committee on the Status of Wom- By Michael Lucibella FY 2013 levels, or 2.5% over the The National Science Founda-
Undergraduate women studying en in Physics (CSWP), and former Physical science research fund- 2012 pre-sequester levels. But when tion (NSF) received only a modest
physics have gained tremendous CSWP member Patricia Burchat ing fared relatively well in the re- adjusted for inflation, it is actually bump as well. Their $5.8 billion
opportunities for networking and chaired this year’s National Orga- cently passed 2014 federal spending about 1.5% below 2012 levels in overall budget represents a 4.2%
support over the last few years nizing Committee. bill. Several science projects that real dollars. increase over 2013, and 0.9% over
through the annual Conferences for “Our goal was for each partici- had been facing cancelation or con- The increases are not spread 2012. Within the NSF however,
Undergraduate Women in Physics pant to walk away from the confer- struction delays will be able to con- evenly across all agencies, how- research spending grew 6.1% over
(CUWiP). Since the first CUWiP ence with new confidence in her tinue. However, the modest spend- ever. Research at the Department 2013 and a 2.4% increase over
in 2006, the number of students has understanding of the role of physics ing increases are uneven, and future of Energy (DOE) got a 20.4% bump 2012, meaning that their budget for
exploded from 29 to over a thou- in her own education, professional budgets may not continue the trend. in nominal dollars over 2013, mean- construction of new facilities
sand attending this year’s confer- community, and in our global econ- (see also Washington Dispatch, ing a 9.3% increase over 2012 or a shrank.
ences. omy,” said Donna Hammer, co- page 5). 5.3% increase in inflation-adjusted “That’s one area where the phys-
Compared with the single uni- organizer of the Maryland confer- “It’s kind of a mixed bag,” said dollars. Research budgets at NASA ical sciences didn’t do quite so
versity that hosted the original CU- ence. Matt Hourihan, director of the R&D did similarly well, increasing by well,” Hourihan said.
WiP, eight universities across the The Maryland conference, also Budget and Policy Program at the 10.8% over 2013, and 3.5% over The budget would restore NSF’s
country hosted this year̕s confer- called the Mid-Atlantic CUWiP, American Association for the Ad- 2012. ability to award grants to near pre-
ence during the Martin Luther King was held at the University of Mary- vancement of Science (AAAS). “It “I think a lot of these agencies sequester levels, but construction
weekend (17-19 January). The con- land. The other seven conferences looks pretty good for a few agencies are, I think its safe to say, ahead of of new facilities could feel a pinch.
ferences are sponsored by the APS but the news isn’t good across the the curve a little bit,” Hourihan said, Projects already in progress will be
CUWIP continued on page 6
board.” adding that many of the increases prioritized, potentially squeezing
President Obama signed the $1.1 were moderated by inflation. “I the Large Synoptic Survey Tele-
trillion Consolidated Appropria- think hopes needed to be tempered.” scope (LSST), the NSF’s only con-
tions Act of 2014 into law on Janu- The National Institutes of struction project slated to start this
ary 14, funding all the agencies of Health, although they got a small year. But the project’s leader thinks
the federal government. It is the bump, will remain about $700 mil- that the cut from $27 million to $17
first comprehensive budget passed lion below 2012. million won’t end up being an issue.
since 2009. The budget undid many The Defense Department is the “The NSF is authorized to put
of the mandatory spending cuts only research budget that decreased. additional money into the LSST if
imposed by sequestration, particu- Overall, DoD research will decline it can find it in their budget,” said
larly in the physical sciences. 1.6% from the 2013 mark , meaning Steven Kahn, director of the LSST,
“The general principle was to a 10% drop from 2012. However, adding that he felt confident the
roll back sequestration,” said Mi- much of that decrease is from the NSF would reallocate enough fund-
chael Lubell, director of public af- department’s applied research ac- ing to keep the project on schedule.
fairs at APS. “That’s essentially counts. On the other hand, basic Researchers on individual proj-
what happened.” research got a boost, increasing ects that had been facing shutdown
Photo by Curt Suplee
According to estimates by 8.1% over 2013 levels, which al- or a delayed start have hailed the
Students attending the Mid-Atlantic Conference for Undergraduate Women in most keeps it at pace with 2012 budget. Within DOE, the domestic
Physics visited the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Here, they AAAS, non-defense research
listen to NIST scientist, Angela R. Hight Walker. spending will increase by 7.6% over inflation-adjusted levels. FUNDING continued on page 6
2 • March 2014

Members This Month in Physics History

in the
Media March 1880: The Curie Brothers Discover Piezoelectricity
“We now have the opportunity
to determine what the sources are,
“It’s already a thing, but wheth-
er it will be blessed by Congress M icrophones, quartz watches, and inkjet print- for the next 30 years or so, in part because the
ers all rely on an unusual phenomenon known theory was so mathematically complex. But incre-
as the piezoelectric effect found in various crystals, mental progress was still being made. In 1910,
if we are indeed seeing sources of depends on how highly evolved the
cosmic rays….The big difference members of Congress are.” ceramics, and even bone. It was discovered by none Woldemar Voigt published the definitive treatise on
…is that we are not using light, we Rush Holt, U.S. House of Rep- other than French physicist Pierre Curie, working the subject, Lehrbuch der Kristallphysik, a massive
are using neutrinos to look at the resentatives, on his proposal for an with his older brother Jacques, who found that put- tome describing the 20-odd classes of natural crys-
sky.” official “Darwin Day,” U.S. News ting pressure on these materials created electricity tal with piezoelectric properties. More importantly,
Francis Halzen, University of and World Report, February 7, 2014. (the name comes from piezein–Greek for “squeeze”). it rigorously defined the 18 possible macroscopic
Wisconsin-Madison, on the IceCube Born in Paris in 1859 to a physician named Eu- piezoelectric coefficients in crystal solids.
neutrino detector’s capabilities, “Mother Nature is pretty unfor- gene Curie, Pierre’s early education was decidedly This set the stage for subsequent development
FoxNews.com, January 23, 2014. giving–we’re trying to stuff a lot of unorthodox: his father opted for private tutors for of practical applications for such materials, begin-
energy in a very small volume.” his son, believing it to be the ning with sonar in 1917, when
“This creation of a Dirac mono- Omar Hurricane, Lawrence best approach given the boy’s Paul Langevin developed an
pole is a beautiful demonstration of Livermore National Laboratory, on temperament and keen intellect. ultrasonic transducer for use on
quantum simulation…. Although the National Ignition Facility’s laser Pierre showed an early aptitude submarines using thin quartz
these results offer only an analogy fusion experiments, The Los Ange- for mathematics, and at 16 en- crystals. Many automobiles to-
to a magnetic monopole, their com- les Times, February 12, 2014. tered the Sorbonne for his uni- day have ultrasonic transducers
patibility with theory reinforces the versity studies. He successfully to assist drivers in measuring
expectation that this particle will be “These results are still a long earned the equivalent of a mas- the distance between the rear
detected experimentally.” way from ignition, but they repre- ter’s degree by 18, but was bumper and any obstacles in its
Lindsay LeBlanc, University of sent a significant step forward in forced to postpone his doctoral path.
Alberta, commenting on another fusion research.” studies. During this time, he Pierre moved on to investi-
team’s creation of a “Dirac string,” Mark Herrmann, Sandia Na- earned a meager living as a lab Brothers and colleagues: Jacques (left) and gating magnetism, uncovering
BBCNews.co.uk, January 29, 2014. tional Laboratories, on the Na- instructor. Pierre (right) Curie, discoverers of the piezo- an intriguing effect of temper-
tional Ignition Facility’s recent Pierre started conducting electric effect. ature on paramagnetism now
“Hawking’s paper is short and report that their laser fusion ex- chemistry experiments at the known as Curie’s law. Another
does not have a lot of detail, so it is periment produced more energy age of 20 with Jacques, focusing on the structure discovery was the Curie point: the critical tem-
not clear what his precise picture than it absorbed, USA Today, Feb- of crystals. They were especially interested in the perature at which ferromagnetic materials cease to
is, or what the justification is.” ruary 13, 2014. pyroelectric effect, in which a change in temperature be ferromagnetic. He even flirted with paranormal
Joseph Polchinski, the Kavli in a crystalline material generates an electric poten- spiritualism as the 19th century drew to a close,
Institute for Theoretical Physics, on “Our nation needs a new, trans- tial. This effect had been known since the mid-18th attending séances with famed medium Eusapia
Stephen Hawking’s recent surpris- parent, clean-energy policy that no century, thanks to the work of Carl Linnaeus and Palladino, approaching them as a scientific experi-
ing announcement that black holes longer turns a blind eye to the many Franz Aepinus, and subsequent scientists had hy- ment with detailed observational notes, in hopes
don’t exist, The Christian Science negative impacts of coal burning –or pothesized that there could be a relationship between that such study would shed light on magnetism. “I
Monitor, January 29, 2014. to companies trying to sell coal to the properties of mechanical stress and electrical must admit that those spiritual phenomena intense-
other nations playing catch-up in the potential. But experimental confirmation proved ly interest me,” he wrote to his fiancée, Marie
“It’s not possible to have both of global economy. A cornerstone of elusive. Sklodowska, in 1894. “I think in them are questions
those things, to have no drama at this policy must be the rational use The brothers Curie thought there would be a that deal with physics.”
the apparent horizon and to have of our vast reserves of Western coal direct correlation between the potential generated Pierre married Marie the following year, when
the information come out.” as we ramp down the overuse of what by temperature changes and the mechanical strain he also finally completed his doctorate, thanks to
is, by far, the dirtiest fossil fuel.” that gave rise to piezoelectricity. They expected that her encouraging him to use his magnetism work as
Raphael Bousso, University of
Michael Riordan, The New a piezoelectric effect would arise in materials with a doctoral thesis. He became a professor of physics
California, Berkeley, on Stephen
York Times, February 13, 2014. certain crystal asymmetries. Armed with the crudest and chemistry at Paris in 1895. (Jacques became a
Hawking’s recent surprising an-
of materials–tinfoil, glue, wire, magnets, and a professor of mineralogy at the University of Mont-
nouncement that black holes don’t
“We now know that if you go and simple jeweler’s saw–they tested various types of pellier.) His new wife replaced his brother as his
exist, The Christian Science Moni-
buy a can of conventional house crystals, including quartz, topaz, cane sugar, Ro- scientific partner. The two discovered radium (and
tor, January 29, 2014.
paint, any one of us can be a Picasso.” chelle salt, and tourmaline. As a result, the Curies later, polonium), sharing the 1903 Nobel Prize in
Volker Rose, Argonne National found that when such materials were compressed, Physics with Henri Becquerel. The piezoelectric
‘‘It’s quite close to applica- the mechanical strain did indeed result in an electric quartz electrometer invented by Pierre and Jacques
tion.…Not too much extra needs to Laboratory, on using X-rays to iden-
tify pigments used in famous paint- potential. The strongest piezeoelectric effects were all those years before proved an essential instrument
be done.” found in quartz and Rochelle salt. The brothers put in their ongoing work.
Zhifeng Ren, University of ings, AFP, February 15, 2014.
their discovery immediately to good use by invent- Towards the end of his life, Pierre showed early
Houston, on a conductive material ing the piezoelectric quartz electrometer. signs of over-exposure to radium. In fact, his clothes
“We are not sure the government
he’s developing that’s transparent There was a twist to the piezoelectric saga still were often so radioactive he had to postpone ex-
appreciates the role that basic re-
and flexible, The New York Times, to come. The following year, mathematician Ga- periments by several hours because it interfered
search plays….The real question is,
February 4, 2014. briel Lippman demonstrated that there should be a with his instruments. The unit of radioactivity is
how does it view not-directed, non-
industrial, curiosity-driven blue-sky converse piezoelectric effect, whereby applying an called the curie in his and Marie’s honor. But he
“Despite seeing them all the electric field to a crystal should cause that material was spared a gruesome death by radiation sickness.
research? I worry the view is that it
time, icicles are actually poorly un- to deform in response. The brothers rushed to test Instead, he was killed in a freak accident, run down
is irrelevant at best and that in many
derstood.” Lippman’s theory, and their experiments showed by a wagon on the Place Dauphine as he was cross-
cases they actually dislike it.’’
Stephen Morris, University of Kenneth Ragan, McGill Univer- the mathematician was correct. Piezoelectricity ing the busy street.
Toronto, The Washington Post, Feb- sity, The International New York could indeed work in the other direction. Marie always felt Pierre did not get the respect
ruary 4, 2014. Times, February 17, 2014. After the initial flurry of excitement died down, and support he deserved from his scientific col-
piezoelectric research faded into the background CURIE continued on page 3

Series II, Vol. 23, No. 3 APS COUNCIL 2014 Chair, Nominating Committee Staff Representatives
March 2014 Paul L. McEuen Tracy Alinger, Director, Information Services (College
President Park), Mark Doyle, Director, Journal Information
© 2014 The American Physical Society Malcolm R. Beasley*, Stanford University Chair, Panel on Public Affairs Systems (Ridge), Amy Flatten, Director of International
Robert Jaffe Affairs; Terri Gaier, Director of Meetings, Barbara
President-Elect Hicks, Associate Publisher, Ted Hodapp, Director of
Editor•. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Voss Samuel H. Aronson*, Brookhaven National Laboratory Division, Forum and Section Councilors Education and Diversity; Trish Lettieri, Director of
(Retired) Miriam Forman (Astrophysics), Thomas Gallagher Membership, Darlene Logan, Director of Development,
Staff Science Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Michael Lucibella (Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics), Jose Onuchic Michael Lubell, Director, Public Affairs; Dan Kulp,
Vice President (Biological), Amy Mullin (Chemical), Frances Hellman* Editorial Director; Christine Giaccone, Director, Journal
Art Director and Special Publications Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kerry G. Johnson Homer A. Neal*, University of Michigan (Condensed Matter Physics), Steven Gottlieb (Compu- Operations; Michael Stephens, Controller and Assistant
Design and Production. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nancy Bennett-Karasik tational), James Wallace (Fluid Dynamics), Gay Stewart Treasurer, James W. Taylor; Deputy Executive Officer
Executive Officer (Forum on Education), Eric Sorte, (Forum on Graduate
Proofreader. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Edward Lee Kate P. Kirby*, Harvard Smithsonian (retired) Student Affairs), Dan Kleppner (Forum on History of Administrator for Governing Committees
APS News (ISSN: 1058-8132) is published 11X yearly, Subscriptions: APS News is an on-membership publica- Physics), Gregory Meisner* (Forum on Industrial and Ken Cole
Treasurer/Publisher Applied Physics), Young-Kee Kim (Forum on Interna-
monthly, except the August/September issue, by the tion delivered by Periodical Mail Postage Paid at Col-
Joseph W. Serene*, Georgetown University (Emeritus) tional Physics), Lowell Brown (Forum on Physics and * Members of the APS Executive Board
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lege Park, MD 20740-3844, (301) 209-3200. It contains Society), Anthony Johnson* (Laser Science), James
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Sections, and Forums; advance information on meetings addresses, and, if possible, include a mailing label from
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March 2014 • 3

Former APS President Wins Top DOE Science Award

Education Corner Former director of Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory and
said. He added that Sessler’s work
on synchrotron light sources and
sky, which championed the cause
of the persecuted dissident scien-
APS educational programs and publications former APS President Andrew Ses- high-intensity free-electron lasers tists. The group organized an aca-
sler received one of the nation’s top helped lay the foundations for demic boycott of the Soviet Union
science awards on February 3, LBNL’s Advanced Light Source and helped to fly their families to
2014. Secretary of Energy Ernest and SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light the United States.
Save the date: 2014 PhysTEC Conference Moniz presented the Enrico Fermi Source. “I am pleased that my contribu-
The 2014 PhysTEC Conference will be held in Austin, Texas on May Award to Sessler for his “excel- tions have been formally recog-
19-20 in conjunction with the UTeach Conference. The PhysTEC lence in research in energy science nized and appreciated,” Sessler
Conference is the nation’s largest meeting dedicated to physics and technology.” said. “It shows to the world and the
teacher education. Sessler started working on ac- general public that it’s not only
celerator physics in the early post- movie stars and athletic heroes that
This year’s conference theme is “Building Leadership” and the con-
ference features workshops, panel discussions, presentations by
war years at Lawrence Berkeley are recognized and appreciated. It
national leaders, and a contributed poster session. There will be a National Lab (LBNL). When the gives young scientists an under-
PhysTEC-UTeach joint plenary session by Arthur Levine, Woodrow Atomic Energy Commission be- standing that their work is valued
Wilson Foundation. Other plenary speakers include Nicole Gillespie, came the Department of Energy in and even rewarded.”
Knowles Science Teaching Foundation; David E. Meltzer, Arizona the 1970s, he helped guide the lab’s Sessler was director of LBNL
State University; Susan Singer, National Science Foundation.   new focus on energy research. from 1973 through 1980. He was
Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkley Lab
“Andy has made outstanding President of the APS in 1998.
Registration opened in mid-February; the registration rate for and very well known contributions Andrew Sessler Also honored with the Fermi
PhysTEC member institutions is $150 and the non-member rate is to the establishment of beam phys- In addition, Moniz praised Ses- award was Allen Bard of the Uni-
$295. Faculty from minority-serving institutions are eligible to ap-
ics that underpin many of the dis- sler’s extensive humanitarian work. versity of Texas at Austin, who is
ply for travel grants. Additional conference information can be found
covery tools we host today in many In the 1970s he founded Scientists commonly referred to as “the father
at: http://www.ptec.org/conferences/2014 
of our national laboratories,” Moniz for Sakharov, Orlov, and Sharan- of electrochemistry.”
New APS K-12 Statement Passed
The New APS statement reads as follows:
The American Physical Society calls upon local, state and federal
policy makers, educators and schools to:
• Provide every student access to high-quality science instruction
Gaps Widen in Attitudes toward Science
including physics and physical science concepts at all grade
levels; and By Michael Lucibella crats’ views have either remained Inc. and the Pew Research Center.
• Provide the opportunity for all students to take at least one year According to a recent survey, strong or increased in their support “It’s a wonderful trove of data
of high-quality high school physics. public attitudes towards science of climate science while Republi- about what Americans know about
Read more at http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/13_1.cfm cans’ [support has] weakened.” science… where they get their sci-
and scientists generally remain sup-
portive. Over the last five years, Speakers at the meeting said that ence news as well as questions
ALPhA’s 2014 Laboratory Immersions Program there is a similar growing political about general attitudes,” said John
During the summer of 2014, the Advanced Laboratory Physics Asso- however, controversies over certain
topics have deepened. The survey divide over evolution as well. In Besley, a professor of advertising
ciation (ALPhA) will be offering a record number of sites for its popu-
found also that 80 percent of Amer- 2012 fewer Republicans said hu- and public relations at Michigan
lar “Laboratory Immersions.” The Immersions offer an opportunity for
faculty and teaching staff to spend two to three full days, with expert icans say they are interested in new mans evolved from apes compared State University who contributed
colleagues on hand, learning the details of a single experiment well scientific discoveries, a level of to responses taken in 2009. Re- to the report.
enough to teach it with confidence. This year there are 14 sites offer- interest higher than in Europe. sponses from Democrats and inde- The report also compiles inter-
ing a total of 28 different experiments, including new sites at Vander- “There are some very specific pendents have remained about the national polling data. One survey
bilt, Harvard, Sewanee, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. debates that have become politi- same. asked people around the world nine
For details, including topics and registration, please visit http://www. “We found really an amazing basic factual questions about sci-
cized,” said Cary Funk, a senior
advlab.org.  level of stability,” Funk said, add- ence to gauge the general knowl-
researcher at the Pew Research
Center who helped conduct the ing that over the last decade, about edge in various countries. The
College Board Replaces AP Physics B
The College Board is replacing AP Physics B with a pair of two- surveys. “People on balance see survey included such questions as
semester courses. The text below is excerpted from the Board's "Big more benefit than harm, but there “80 percent of Americans say whether the Earth orbits around the
Changes on the Way for AP Physics" (available online). are areas where they’re concerned they are interested in new sci- sun. On average, people in the
about GMOs [genetically modified entific discoveries” United States answered 64% of the
As part of the Advanced Placement course and exam redesign, AP
will offer two new physics courses beginning in fall 2014. These organisms] or they’re concerned questions correctly, which is about
courses, AP Physics 1 and Physics 2, will replace the current AP about climate change.” 60 percent of respondents indicate on par with nations in the Euro-
Physics B course; as a result, AP Physics B will retire in fall 2014. The report found also that they believe in evolution. “What pean Union and generally ahead of
This two-course physics model better reflects the introductory alge- Americans generally believe the we found that had changed is a the six other nations polled, includ-
bra-based college course sequence at most colleges. science behind climate change, and growing partisan gap.” ing China, Russia, Japan and Ma-
only about 30 percent describe Funk added that this polariza- laysia.
As with all AP courses, the AP Physics 1 and 2 curriculum and themselves as skeptical. Although tion was not necessarily unique to The survey also highlighted a
exam development was overseen by a committee of college faculty science. “Lots of issues have be- number of other recent findings.
the report itself doesn’t go into the
members and AP teachers from across the country. The commit-
specific political differences, pre- come politicized over the last de- One is that for the first time, the
tee reviewed introductory-level AP Physics syllabi from colleges and
universities across the country. This curriculum review helped the senters at this year’s American As- cade if not longer,” Funk said. Internet surpassed TV news as the
committee define which elements of introductory algebra-physics sociation for the Advancement of The biennial Science and Engi- American public’s primary source
Physics were elemental and important to keep in the design of the Science meeting said that political neering Indicators report issued by of science news. It also found that
revised curriculum. The final curriculum was also reviewed and vali- divide on the issue continues to the National Science Foundation 4 in 10 Americans said that the
dated by a separate panel of more than 50 physics faculty from a grow. always includes a chapter about government spends too little on
variety of institutions. “We have definitely seen a wid- public attitudes and knowledge of science and technology research
ening of the partisan gap,” said science. It brings together numer- and 5 in 10 say the spending is
The first score reports for Physics 1 and 2 will be available in July Lydia Saad, a senior editor at the ous surveys from a variety of poll- about right, a number that has been
Gallup polling company. “Demo- ing organizations, including Gallup consistent for several years.
Read more on this change at: http://aphighered.collegeboard.org/
Physicists Ask Russian President to Help Kokabee
By Michael Lucibella A native of Iran, Kokabee was unable to secure permission from
January 30, 2014, marked the arrested by Iranian security forces the prison to attend.
CURIE continued from page 2 at the Tehran airport while waiting In addition to writing papers,
third year of the imprisonment of
leagues. He did not engage in aca- Further Reading: physics student Omid Kokabee in to board a flight back to the Unit- Kokabee also tutors other inmates
demic politics, preferring to focus Curie, Jacques and Curie, Pierre
Iran. APS awarded Kokabee its ed States, where he was studying in physics, mechanics, and civil
on his research. He was rejected for (1880). “Development, via compression,
2014 Andrei Sakharov Prize for for his doctoral degree. Since then engineering. However, prison of-
of electric polarization in hemihedral he has been confined to Tehran’s ficials have tacked on an addi-
a professorship in mineralogy and crystals with inclined faces,” Bulletin de human rights (see APS News,
denied membership in the French la Societe de Minerologique de France, January 2014). Evin Prison, which houses many tional 91 days to his sentence
Academy in 1903, the same year he 3: 90-93. In January, Boris Altshuler, of Iran’s political prisoners. because of this. He translated a
won the Nobel Prize. His early work Curie, Jacques, and Curie, Pierre
who won the Sakharov Prize along According to a recent interview history of the Middle East and is
on piezoelectricity was not, perhaps, (1881). “Contractions and expansions
with Kokabee, sent an open letter with Kokabee’s mother, prison of- in the process of translating a text
produced by voltages in hemihedral crys- ficials don’t allow him to receive on physics as well.
his most significant discovery over tals with inclined faces,” Comptes Ren- to Russian president Vladimir Pu-
his illustrious career, but as he ob- dus 93: 1137-1140. tin calling on him to use his influ- scientific papers, but that hasn’t His family reports that since
served in an 1894 letter to Marie: Hurwic, Anna. Pierre Curie, Trans- ence with Iran to help free the stopped him from continuing his the beginning of his incarceration,
“[In science] we can aspire to ac- lated by Lilananda Dasa and Joseph
imprisoned scientist. In February, research. Three local scientific his health started deteriorating.
complish something…. every dis- Cudnik. Paris: Flammarion, 1995.
APS President Malcolm Beasley conferences in Iran accepted pa- He’s lost weight and started suf-
Lippman, G. (1881). “Principal of the pers he wrote while behind bars fering from kidney stones and
covery, however small, is a perma- conservation of electricity,” Annales de sent a similar letter to President
nent gain.” Chemie et de Physique 24: 145. Putin. and invited him to present. He was other digestive and dental issues.
4 • March 2014

Readers interested in submitting a letter to APS News should
A Victory and The One That Got Away
In his commentary “We Need complicated than that. Goldman Xerox didn’t respond adequately to
Undirected Research” (The Back was a Senior Vice-President and a the Macintosh, and lost the moment.
email letters@aps.org
Page APS News January 2014), By- Board member of Xerox, while We won regarding laser printers,
ron Roe correctly states the need Pake and White were Vice-Presi- but only through a ploy developed
The Bose in Boson for self-directed research. He men-
tions Xerox and the personal com-
dents. All three were upper manage-
ment. I was middle management.
by White and me. We established
four programs: three product pro-
APS News (November 2013) validation of the Bose theory [for
reviewed the awarding of the 2013 atomic gases] was made by Wolf- puter as “A cautionary tale.” The conflict was between risk- grams–one each for high-speed,
Nobel Prize to Francois Englert and gang Ketterle, Eric Cornell, and Throughout the history of both averse MBA’s and visionary PhD’s midrange, and low-end printers–and
Peter Higgs for correctly predicting Carl Wieman. They were awarded the laser xerographic printer and the at all levels. a fourth program that contained all
the existence of the Higgs Boson. the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001. Palo Alto Research Center’s con- We failed to carry the day regard- the R&D spending. Financial ana-
Englert is quoted saying “The bo- The concept of particles acquiring tributions to the personal computer, ing the personal computer. The lysts sniped at each of the product
son by itself is something that is mass due to interactions with an I reported either to Jack Goldman ALTO research prototype ($80,000 programs but were never able to
the experimental test of the whole underlying field was predicted or George Pake. I became Director, per copy) was engineered to become suspend all three at the same time,
mechanism and one had to wait.” theoretically and independently by Forward Technical Planning at Xe- the $16,000 Star, which had limited so the R&D spending continued
This is a very subtle comment. Francois Englert and Peter Higgs rox corporate headquarters where I market appeal. Apple introduced the without interruption until the high-
The strange particles found at in 1964. worked closely with George R. similar Lisa computer at $15,000, end laser printer got to market.
CERN, their statistical behavior, The prediction was validated White, another physicist who was but adroitly followed up with the I am proud of my efforts in help-
and their ability to condense have through these experiments, and Vice-President for Corporate Plan- stripped-down Macintosh at just ing to bring the first laser printers,
been respectively named bosons, Englert and Higgs were awarded ning. under $10,000. It didn’t even have invented by Gary Starkweather, to
Bose Statistics, and Bose condensa- the Nobel Prize. Regrettably, the Goldman, Pake, and White are a modem at that price, but since the market. I was elected a Fellow of
tion after Satyendra Nath Bose of name of the originator of the boson all deceased, so I may be the best price tag was below a common $10K the APS partly for that reason. As
Calcutta University (1894-1974). concept and its properties, S. N. person to comment on Roe’s “cau- “capital request” threshold, many for the personal computer? You
Bose developed the concept and Bose, has rarely been mentioned in tionary tale.” Roe states that there engineers could purchase one with- can’t win them all.
published the results in a seminal the published literature even as a was a lack of communication be- out justifying their decision. (They
paper (1924) almost three quarters footnote during these eight decades. tween the scientists and middle didn’t know what it was good for Edward C. McIrvine
of a century ago. “Stuff happens,” as they say. management. It was much more yet, but they knew they wanted one.) Asheville, North Carolina
During the “wait,” major ad-
vances based on the boson have P. Mahadevan
been made. The first experimental Fullerton, California

Physicists Need to Engage with Congress and The Public

Having served for just over three
decades, first as a research program
money from their efforts to conduct
research, a talent that required years
Profiles In Versatility
manager and then as a senior sci- of training and practice. When asked
ence advisor for a federal agency about having to manage a research
with a history of providing substan- program with a relatively limited An Arresting Career Brings Technology to Law Enforcement
tial support to scientific research, I budget, the only answer I could
feel Michael Lubell is to be ap- provide in good conscience was to By Alaina G. Levine
plauded (“Time to Hit the Road,” urge that congressional representa- These days, if you want to take tion and how they impact the human ernance, especially in the
APS News, December 2013). tives be consulted. This advice re- a bite out of crime, you are going body. His company offers instruc- developing world. Law enforcement
Lubell highlights issues relevant to mains appropriate today. In addi- to be aided by various technologies, tion modules for cops to learn the is woefully undervalued in interna-
understanding how the US Con- tion, it is clear that scientists would ranging from simple databases to physics behind taser technology, tional relations and I’d like to fix
gressional legislative process af- do well to reach out to the general tasers to DNA fingerprinting. And utilizing a Tesla coil to demonstrate this.”
fects the health of the nation’s sci- public such as speaking before so- yet most police departments do not voltage effects. At the same time, Morgan certainly has the skill set
ence enterprise: “...the prospects cial clubs in their communities. have staff with science or engineer- he educates police officers on how to lead these initiatives. With a BS
for a good science deal are poor By coincidence, nearly 15 years ing backgrounds. to use a taser properly to subdue a in physics from Loyola College in
unless the public gets behind such ago, I came across the Aldo Leop- “Police are an underserved mar- perpetrator. He is partnering with Maryland and a PhD in materials
[initiatives]…” as “advancing the old Leadership Program, which was ket with respect to science and tech- the International Academy of Pub- science and engineering from Johns
policies and authorization levels designed to have its Fellows trans- nology knowledge,” explains John lic Safety to deliver web-based Hopkins, he served in the Maryland
needed to strengthen American’s late environmental science findings S. Morgan, a physicist and entre- training across the country. State Legislature while employed
science and innovation enter- to inform the public, presented in preneur. Whereas the military in- by the Applied Physics Laboratory
prise….” Moreover, he added “The layperson language. Establishing dustrial complex is designed to spur (APL). In 1994, he was awarded an
public has little knowledge of the such a program for the physical new research and innovations to APS Congressional Science Fellow-
societal benefits of science....” sciences is viable and responsive enable success in and out of the ship and was embedded in the office
As cited by Lubell, scientists, to the advice cited in Lubell’s col- battlefield, “police have nothing of US Representative Dana Rohra-
with few exceptions, are not gener- umn. equivalent to this.” bacher. He leveraged his time on
ally inclined to devote attention to As a result, law enforcement or- Capitol Hill to learn as much as he
the matter. From my experience, J. V. Martinez ganizations may spend billions of could about the justice system in the
doing so will tax energy, time, and Silver Spring, Maryland dollars on specialized equipment, US, so after he completed his Fel-
but “are at a disadvantage because lowship, he was able to transition
Industrial Postdocs Offer Long-term Benefits they have to depend on the vendor
to tell them how to use it,” he notes.
into the Office of Science and Tech-
nology in the National Institute of
Brad Conrad, in his article “Re- temporary positions (useful to both That’s where Morgan comes in. Justice (the research arm of the De-
newed Focus on Early Career the firm and the candidate post- His company, Coptech LLC, offers John S. Morgan partment of Justice (DOJ)) as its
Physicists” (APS News, December doc), but the larger firms–GE, IBM, a “cost-effective solution” to police director.
2013) makes many useful points Boeing, etc–may very well be able departments to help them under- He trains law enforcement pro- At the DOJ, Morgan spent much
about how APS can help non-aca- to do so. I think it would be very stand science and technology that fessionals to think like engineers or of his nine years overseeing R&D
demic-oriented physicists in the useful for the APS (or its Forum on can improve their mission and aid physicists when solving problems, programs to develop and deploy
early stages of their careers. I be- Industrial and Applied Physics) to them in navigating difficult techni- whether they require technology or novel innovations to the criminal
lieve he omits one such important attempt to proselytize among these cal problems. With over 17,000 law not. In fact, part of his charge is to justice system, such as forensic tech-
aid. larger firms for the creation of “in- enforcement agencies in the US create “police technologists,” pro- nology (e.g., DNA testing, finger-
Over the last half-century, a dustrial postdocs,” pointing out to alone, including federal, state, and fessionals who are tasked with run- prints), operational technology (e.g.,
standard, well-recognized, route them the long-term benefits to them local police departments, as well as ning projects that are technology- body armor, less lethal weapons),
into academic physics was the post- of creating a national cadre of well- organizations that serve schools, related. “We teach the basics of and information and sensor technol-
doctoral position–basically short versed non-academic physicists as parks and prisons, launching his systems engineering and how to ogy. He feels that one of his most
term, semi-independent research at well as the more obvious short-term company was a “no-brainer,” he relate a technological need to the important accomplishments was
a well established academic re- benefits of augmenting their staffs says. mission of their agency,” he says. spearheading a program that helped
search institution. The APS served with “new blood.” Morgan provides value to his His other projects include assist- analyze millions of backlogged
an important role in connecting new Perhaps a meeting of the senior clients in numerous ways. One of ing technology companies to better DNA samples nationwide, and al-
doctorates with available post- science executives of these firms, his core mandates is to assist police understand law enforcement issues tered the way DNA is used as a
doctoral positions: advertising and called by the APS, could initiate a departments in making intelligent so they can more successfully de- forensic, crime-fighting tool. “We
assisting recruitment for existing series of these well-publicized in- decisions in purchasing technology velop products to meet their grow- changed the technology to make it
positions and advocating for the dustrial postdoc positions. This and training officers, as well as in ing needs, and international policing better, improved the standards, in-
financing of additional ones. could establish a new career route using and maintaining equipment. development. “The US spends very creased the speed of analysis, and
To the best of my knowledge, for newly graduated physicists and For example, while many depart- little money on helping foreign po- created a system in which new kinds
APS has not done the same for in- those seeking career changes. ments buy and use tasers, the indi- lice departments,” he notes. “And of samples could be tested,” he says.
dustrial postdocs. Small industrial vidual law enforcement profession- yet this is the front line of combat- The White House and Congress in-
firms are not likely to be in the po- Alvin M. Saperstein als may not have a detailed ting terrorism and an extraordinari- vested hundreds of millions of dol-
sition to offer many such useful Detroit, Michigan understanding of how tasers func- ly important part of improving gov- ENFORCE continued on page 6
March 2014 • 5

Washington Dispatch Thanking A Strong Supporter

Updates from the APS Office of Public Affairs
APS President, Mac Beasley,
along with Executive Officer,
Kate Kirby, and Director of De-
POLICY UPDATE: Appropriations velopment, Darlene Logan dine
Using the Ryan-Murray agreement as the framework for appro- with major donor, Rosa Ovshin-
priations, Congress finally passed a fiscal year 2014 (FY14) Om- sky in San Diego, Rosa Ovshin-
nibus spending bill with bipartisan support, by a margin of 359-67 sky and the Ovshinsky family
in the House and 72-26 in the Senate. The legislation largely re-
stored the sequestration cuts that had been triggered by the Bud-
have recently established an en-
get Control Act as a penalty for congressional inaction on a long- dowment to fund the new Stan-
term budget agreement. Neither party got everything it wanted, ford R. Ovshinsky Sustainable
but each was happy to have achieved a result that could pave the Energy Fellowship in his honor.
way for a less chaotic budget process in the coming year.

Overall, science fared relatively well, although the outcome was

very uneven. Some accounts saw increases above the sequester
restorations. But some failed to achieve the full restoration.

Fusion Energy Sciences at the Department of Energy (DOE), for

example, received a significant boost of 26 percent above the
FY12 appropriated level, effectively reviving MIT’s Alcator C-Mod
International News
facility and funding the International Thermonuclear Experimen- ...from the APS Office of International Affairs
tal Reactor (ITER), although not quite at the previously planned
level of $225M. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), on the
other hand, did not manage to reverse the sequestration cuts, Rethinking US Visa Policy to Compete Globally for Talent
falling about $800M below the FY12 level. And although the Na-
By Albert H. Teich
tional Science Foundation (NSF) did receive an increase above
FY12, its increase was not as large compared to some other dis- The United States has long been prepare for the future. docs make up a large and increas-
cretionary accounts.
a magnet for top science and engi- Take, for example, the section ingly essential element of US
Strong advocacy by the scientific community surely helped stave
neering talent from every corner of of US immigration law known as higher education.
off draconian cuts to basic research. In fact, while overall discre- the world. The contributions of 214(b) that requires consular offi- It’s time to re-examine the ap-
tionary spending has decreased 13.6 percent since FY10, R&D hundreds of thousands of interna- cers to treat every person applying plication of 214(b) to STEM stu-
has fallen by only 12.3 percent, with much of that decline ab- tional students and immigrants have for a US visa as an “intending im- dents in light of the fundamental
sorbed by defense accounts not associated with basic research. helped this country build a unique- migrant.” In practice, this provision changes in science and higher edu-
Advocacy efforts have continued to keep science on the congres- ly powerful, productive, and cre- means that a person being inter- cation that have taken place over
sional radar as a bipartisan investment critical to future US eco- ative science and technology enter- viewed for a nonimmigrant student the past 60 years. As NAFSA, the
nomic competitiveness. prise that leads the world in many visa must persuade the consular Association of International Educa-
fields and is responsible for the officer that he or she does not intend tors, states in a recent policy brief,
As inflation slowly chips away at the capacity of federal agen- creation of millions of high-value to remain permanently in the Unit- “Educated students are exactly the
cies to support research programs, proposal success rates will
jobs. A few statistics suggest just ed States. Just stating the intent to kinds of immigrants we should en-
continue to ebb, although not as dramatically as forecast this
year had sequestration remained in effect. Continued pressure
how important foreign-born talent return home following completion courage to stay in the United States.
on lawmakers by scientists will be necessary to reverse the long- is to US science and technology: of one’s educational program is not We should not force them, before
term trend. • Over 30 percent of all Nobel enough. The applicant must present they even start their studies, to say
laureates who have won their evidence to support that assertion, that they have no intention of stay-
Of importance to prospective DOE grantees is the new funding prizes while working in the generally by showing strong ties to ing, working, and contributing to
model mandated for the department by the Omnibus bill. Grants United States were foreign the home country. Such evidence our country after they graduate.”
of less than a million dollars must be fully funded in advance for born. may include connections to family The presumption of intent to im-
the duration of the grant (typically three years). And to accom- • Between 1995 and 2005, a members, a bank account, a job or migrate is not the only hoop through
modate the new funding structure, DOE will be forced to reduce quarter of all US high tech other steady source of income, a which we put STEM students and
proposal success rates and funding levels for the next two or startups included an immigrant house or other property. For a stu- potential science and engineering
three years absent increases in appropriations.
among their founders. visitors. Others include the secu-
The details in the FY14 spending bill are as follows, with percent
• Forty percent of Fortune 500 rity review process code-named
changes from appropriated FY12 levels shown in parentheses: firms were started by immi- “Visas Mantis,” the limits on H-1B
grants or their children, among visas (for foreign workers in spe-
NSF is funded at $7.20B in FY14 (+2.4%). The Research & Re- them Google, Intel, Yahoo, cialized occupations), and the un-
lated Activities account is set at $5.81B (+1.5%), a slight disap- eBay, and Apple. necessarily complex rules that gov-
pointment relative to increases seen in other parts of the budget. • Among the ten universities that ern J-1 visas (for exchange visitors).
The education portion of NSF, known as Education & Human Re- produced the most patents, Visa applicants who work in or
sources, is funded at $846M (+2.1%). more than three out of every intend to study certain technical
four patents involved at least fields or are from certain countries
The DOE Office of Science is funded at $5.07B (+3.9%): Ad- one foreign-born inventor. are frequently referred by consular
vanced Scientific Computing Research at $478M (+8.1%), Ba-
• More than five out of six (84%) officers to a security review involv-
sic Energy Sciences at $1.71B (+1.3%), Biological and Environ-
mental Research at $610M (-0.4%), Fusion Energy Science at
information technology patents ing nearly a dozen federal agencies.
Albert H. Teich
$505M (+25.7%) with $200M of that set aside for ITER, High En- in 2010 listed a foreign na- The “Visa Mantis” review is cur-
ergy Physics at $797M (+0.8%) and Nuclear Physics at $569M tional among the inventors. dent, especially one from a develop- rently applied to about 10 percent
(+3.6%). But the world is changing. ing country, this is often not a of technical visitors, it is largely
Countries that were minor players straightforward matter. It is not sur- opaque, keeping applicants in the
The DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewables (EER-E) and Ad- in science and technology a few prising, therefore, that the most com- dark about their status, subjecting
vanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) are funded years ago are rapidly entering the mon reason for denial of a visa ap- many innocent individuals to
at $1.91B (+5.1%) and $280M (+1.8%), respectively, and the major leagues and actively compet- plication, including student visas as lengthy delays, and tarnishing the
National Nuclear Security Administration is funded at $12.13B ing for talent on the global market- well as other major visa categories image of the United States as an
(+5.4%). place. The advent of rapid and in- is 214(b), failure to overcome the open, welcoming society. Adding
expensive global communication presumption of immigrant intent. more consular officers with scien-
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Sci-
ence and Technical Research and Services is funded at $651M
and air travel within easy reach of Section 214(b) of the Immigra- tific or engineering training could
(+14.8%), Construction of Research Facilities, at $56M (+1.8%) researchers from many countries tion and Nationality Act dates to facilitate screening applicants at the
and the Industrial Technology Services, at $143M (+11.7%). have fostered the growth of global 1952, an era when foreign students consulates and reduce the number
networks of collaboration and are in the US were relatively rare. In of unnecessary Mantis referrals,
DOD 6.1 (Basic Research) is funded at $2.17B (+7.7%) and DOD changing the way research is done. 1954-55, for example, there were allowing security officials to focus
6.2 (Applied Research) $4.64B (-1.9%). The DOD 6.2 account Our visa and immigration systems about 34,000 foreign students in the on serious security risks. Keeping
was not only cut relative to FY12, but was also cut by 0.9 percent need to change, too. United States. In contrast, in 2011 applicants informed of the status of
relative to FY13 post-sequester. For the past year, I have been there were nearly 765,000 foreign their applications during Mantis
engaged in a study of the impacts students in US higher education reviews would also help.
The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) Science of US visa and immigration policies institutions, nearly two-thirds of The H-1B visa category covers
program is funded at $5.15B (+1.1%) with continuing support
on foreign scientists, engineers, and them at doctorate-granting univer- temporary workers in specialty oc-
for the James Webb Space Telescope containing strict instruc-
tions that its total budget not exceed $8B. The bill further instructs
STEM students in light of the in- sities. In those early post-World War cupations, including scientists and
NASA not to engage in any bilateral talks with China, although creasing globalization of science. II years, the presence of foreign engineers in R&D. The program is
the extent of the ban, as in the past, remains somewhat unclear. Through this study, I’ve identified students was regarded as a form of capped at 65,000 each fiscal year,
a number of important priorities international cultural exchange. but an additional 20,000 foreign
DISPATCH continued on page 6 that will help the United States re- Today, especially in STEM fields, nationals with advanced degrees
spond to these developments and foreign graduate students and post- POLICY continued on page 7
6 • March 2014

FUNDING continued from page 1 ENFORCE continued from page 4

fusion research program was one lars in support of the President’s physicists in the law enforcement
of the top beneficiaries. For years Advancing Justice Through DNA community will also grow. “I love
the Department of Energy had to Technology initiative, and Morgan the purity of science for science’s
split its funding between domestic was awarded the Service to Amer- sake, but there’s wonderful satisfac-
research and funding for the inter- Total R&D ica Medal, the highest honor a civil- tion in seeing science and technol-
national ITER project in France. ian can receive, for his contribu- ogy put into practice in a practical
“The domestic program has Defense tions. He later served as the way,” he says. Currently there is a
shrunk rather radically the last Command Science Advisor to the desperate need for analysts and data
couple of years,” said Stewart Prag- Non-Defense US Army Special Operations Com- scientists, especially with an uptick
er, director of the Princeton Plasma mand, where he oversaw research in electronic crime, he notes, but
Physics Laboratory. “It restores the ARRA-Total in myriad technical arenas, includ- there are other avenues in which
domestic research program funding ing bomb-detecting robotics, night- physics-educated professionals can
to a little bit more than it was in ARRA- vision gear, and information analy- contribute. “People with physics
fiscal year 2012.” He added that he
Non-Defense sis. backgrounds have more to offer in
felt that the budget represented a But all of these experiences in this landscape than they might real-
“turning point” for the field. fighting crime and terrorism ize,” he says. “For someone who is
MIT has felt the brunt of the . ARRA = American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 wouldn’t have been possible with- creative and interested in stepping
cutbacks. In 2013 their primary out a foundation in physics, argues out of their comfort zone, this is the
Morgan. Not only does it bolster his industry for you.”
research tokomak, the Alcator C- construction is about to move for- nearly doubles the $14 million bud-
problem-solving abilities, but it also Alaina G. Levine is the author
Mod, was slated for shutdown as a ward for the new Facility for Rare get to get construction started.
“gives me instant credibility be- of Networking for Nerds (Wiley,
result of budget cuts. The 2014 Isotope Beams (FRIB). There is still at least a $600 million
cause police departments are hungry 2014) and President of Quantum
budget restores much of the funding “The passing of the federal bud- gap in the funding to locate the de- for information on science and tech- Success Solutions, a science career
for the program. get allows the commencement of tectors underground, but Strait nology and they want someone with and professional development con-
“Depending on how much fund- construction of FRIB,” said Thom- hopes to partner with other nations real credentials to help them.” sulting enterprise. She can be con-
ing we get…[we will] probably try as Glasmacher, the project man- to make up the difference. As technology continues to per- tacted through www.alainalevine.
to do between 12 and 14 weeks of ager of FRIB. “Under a continuing “The big issue is to assemble a vade every corner of society, Mor- com, or followed on twitter @
research,” said Earl Marmar, divi- resolution you can’t start–there are big international collaboration to gan predicts that opportunities for AlainaGLevine.
sion head of the Alcator project at no new starts.” allow us to do the experiments in a
MIT, adding it was still down from One of the lingering questions timely way,” Strait said. “The ad-
19 weeks in 2012. “It’s very good hanging over the high-energy phys- ditional funding makes it look as if
news for us, but it’s also very good ics community is whether Fermi- the US is serious about doing this.”
news for the whole fusion pro- lab’s new project, the Long Baseline
Looking ahead, experts said that DISPATCH continued from page 5
gram.” Neutrino Experiment (LBNE), will
it’s unclear if those trends will con-
Brookhaven’s Relativistic have enough funding to bury its NIH was funded at a rather disappointing $29.90B (-2.5%), which
tinue in the future. The president’s
Heavy Ion Collider also got a re- detectors in an underground labora- is ~$800M less than in FY12.
budget request is due out in early
prieve. It was facing funding cuts tory in South Dakota. It is expensive
March. Finally, the Office of Science and Technology of the President
after a DOE/NSF advisory panel to build and run large liquid argon
“The FY 15 agreement is to keep was funded at $5.5M (+23.4%).
gave RHIC a lower priority than detectors 4850 feet under Earth’s
other nuclear physics facilities that surface, and the Department of En- spending frozen at more or less
2014 levels” Lubell said. “Except WASHINGTON OFFICE ACTIVITIES
were straining the budget. At the ergy’s office of science has previ-
for the Defense Department, I think ISSUE: MEDIA UPDATE
same time, DOE said it was com- ously balked at its billion-dollar Michael S. Lubell, director of public affairs, opined that science
mitted to keeping RHIC running. price tag. it will look pretty much the same.”
offers a path for bipartisanship in his Jan. 24 op-ed in Roll Call.
“We’re absolutely thrilled–it’s “We are proceeding on the as- Hourihan agreed, but cautioned
He cited the helium reserve bill as an example of how Congress
not plush but it is allowing us to sumption of an underground detec- there was only so much about next can work together to accomplish great things for the nation. Read
have a 22-week run this year,” said tor,” said Jim Strait, project man- year that can be divined from this the column: http://bit.ly/1clZdAy
Berndt Mueller, the associate labo- ager of LBNE. “The international year’s budget agreement.
ratory director for nuclear and par- partners are really only interested “These FY 14 numbers may end Following word of the proposed move of the Air Force Office of
ticle physics at Brookhaven. “Hav- if we have an underground detec- up being a new plateau,” Hourihan Scientific Research, Science published an article detailing the sci-
entific community’s opposition to the plan. Read the story:http://
ing a full 22-week run is the best tor.” said. “I think the chances of the
thing that could have happened.” The omnibus budget doesn’t al- increases we saw in the omnibus
At Michigan State University, locate funds for the detector, but it are pretty slim.” ISSUE: Panel On Public Affairs
A proposed APS Statement on Undergraduate Research was
posted on the APS website for review by APS membership. POPA
reviewed the member comments and worked with the APS Com-
CUWIP continued from page 1 mittee on Education to include several edits. The statement was
forwarded to the Executive Board and Council for a final vote.
were the Southeastern Conference Standards and Technology and was sity of Maryland. “It has inspired
POPA is undertaking a review of the APS 2007 Statement on
at Florida State University, South one of Maryland’s CUWiP panel me to…keep moving toward my
Climate Change. Information about the process can be found at:
Central Conference at Louisiana speakers this year. goals.” Liang plans to apply to
State University, Northeast Confer- “It’s nice to see women take graduate school in physics next
ence at Pennsylvania State Univer- leadership roles in the physics year. The APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics and
sity, East Conference at Stony world,” said Jaber, who was refer- Since 2012, APS has helped co- the APS Committee on Careers and Professional Development
Brook University/Brookhaven Na- ring to one of UMD’s invited speak- ordinate these conferences by fa- have both approached POPA with proposed APS statements.
tional Laboratory, West Conference ers, Ellen Williams. Williams is cilitating registrations and co-orga- The POPA Subcommittee on Physics & the Public is working with
at UC Berkeley, Midwest Confer- Chief Scientist at the BP energy nizing events with host institutions. those committees on draft statements that will be considered by
ence at University of Chicago/Ar- company and a distinguished pro- This year, APS received about 880 POPA at its June meeting.
gonne National Laboratory/Fermi fessor of physics at the University new female student members as a
National Accelerator Laboratory of Maryland. Last November, Pres- result of the registration process Several ideas for POPA studies were suggested by new mem-
bers at the February meeting. Any APS member can propose
and the Rocky Mountain Confer- ident Obama nominated her for the and even more attended the confer-
that POPA carry out a study. A template for proposals can be
ence at the University of Utah. position of Director of ARPA-E (the ences, explained APS Women and
found online, along with a suggestion box for future POPA stud-
During the three-day conference, Advanced Research Projects Agen- Education Program Administrator, ies: http://www.aps.org/policy/reports/popa-reports/suggestions/
students had the opportunity to cy-Energy) in the Department of Deanna Ratnikova. index.cfm.
present their undergraduate research Energy (DOE). “When students applied to attend
in poster sessions, participate in Jaber said that learning “how the conferences, they were given
career workshops and panel discus- [Williams] got there and how she the option to opt-out of the free one-
sions, and network with one an- managed to develop leadership year student membership,” Rat-
other. They also heard from profes- roles” was inspiring and described nikova said. “If they did not opt out,
sional physicists, both female and Williams’ confidence as contagious. they were awarded free membership
male, about cutting edge physics Jaber plans to declare her physics for a year….the attendance for the “When you look at the statis- In addition to staff support from
research. major next year when she’s a soph- 2014 conferences was 1006 stu- tics,” Bailey said, “industry has APS, the conferences received fi-
Learning from these invited omore. dents.” been the largest employment base nancial aid from the National Sci-
speakers offered some of the most Jennifer Liang, another under- One of this year’s APS represen- for physicists with PhDs in the last ence Foundation and DOE which
inspiring moments for Noura Jaber, graduate physics student who at- tatives, Careers Program Manager 30 years.” together will provide about
who attended the conference at the tended the Maryland conference, Crystal Bailey, gave a talk entitled “The sooner we start telling stu-
$210,000 to support these confer-
University of Maryland. Jaber is a said that she was surprised to see “Breaking the myth of the non- dents about the real employment
picture,” she said, “the longer they ences each year through 2016. The
freshman at Bryn Mawr College in the large number of women at the traditional physicist.” Students first
Pennsylvania and first learned about conference. entering physics as undergraduates will have to design a path that bulk of the funding, however, came
the conference while chatting with “I didn’t know there were so may think that pursuing a career in makes sense for them and gain the from individual sites, which as-
Angela Walker. Walker is a senior many women in physics,” said Li- academia is the norm, but Bailey skills they need to be successful in sembled more than $440,000 for
scientist at the National Institute of ang, who is a junior at the Univer- explained that is not the case. the path they choose.” this year’s conferences.
March 2014 • 7


We Want your Nominations

for Historic Sites Galaxy masses
Owing to technical difficulties, the Stéphane Courteau, Michele Cappellari, Roelof S. de Jong, Aaron A.
website for APS Historic Sites Dutton, Eric Emsellem, Henk Hoekstra, L. V. E. Koopmans, Gary A.
suggestions did not retain any past Mamon, Claudia Maraston, Tommaso Treu, and Lawrence M. Widrow
nominations. Information on the variety of galaxy masses is essential to understand the
structure formation in the early Universe and the processes which contributed.
Please submit nominations, both Masses of galaxies (and their constituents such as stars, gas, and dark matter)
new and previously submitted, via are key properties for their evolution. This review discusses the various mass
estimators by giving overviews on how to identify the contribution from stellar
http://www.aps.org/programs/outreach/history/historicsites/nomination.cfm masses by utilizing the total light output, how to determine the total dynamical
masses for gas-rich and gas-poor galaxies, how to utilize weak and strong
gravitational lensing, and presents a detailed analysis of the Milky Way as well.
Nominations received before the end of February will be eligible to be
considered in the 2014 cycle. http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/RevModPhys.86.47


May 19-20, 2014

AT&T Executive Conference Center
University of Texas at Austin
PhysTEC Held in conjunction with
Conference the UTeach Conference

Program designed for students with undergraduate degrees in physics or

related disciplines interested in pursuing doctoral studies in physics. African
Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans are especially
encouraged to apply.
Deadline: Questions?
March 21, 2014 Contact bridgeprogram@aps.org
Building Leadership

Distinguished The Division of Laser Sciences (DLS) of the Correction
Traveling Lecturer American Physical Society announces its lecture pro- "This Month in Physics History" (APS News, February 2014) re-
Program (DTL) gram in Laser Science, and invites applications from schools counted James Chadwick's discovery of the neutron. Owing to an
editing error, the statement "Chadwick replicated a German experi-
to host a lecturer in 2014/2015. Lecturers will visit selected ac-
in ademic institutions for two days, during which time they will ment in which polonium struck a beryllium target..." is incorrect. The
give a public lecture open to the entire academic community alpha particles from the polonium, not the polonium itself, struck
and meet informally with students and faculty. They may also the target Thanks to Charles Kaufmann of the University of Rhode
Help convey the excitement of give guest lectures in classes related to Laser Science. The pur- Island for bringing this to our attention. We regret the mistake.
laser science to undergraduate pose is to bring distinguished scientists to colleges and univer-
students. sities to convey the excitement of laser science to undergradu- DPOLY continued from page 1
ate students.
to be scattered between many units The formation of the group
DLS will cover the travel expenses and honorarium of the lec- and now it will be coordinated by would be the culmination of sev-
turer. The host institution will be responsible only for the local one unit.” eral years of grassroots effort to
expenses of the lecturer and for advertising the public lecture.
Once the working group is as- establish a home for soft matter
Awards to host institutions will be made by the selection com- sembled, it will start to draft the researchers.
mittee after consulting with the lecturers. Priority will be given proposed group’s bylaws. At the “Europe has a very strong soft-
to those predominantly undergraduate institutions that do not same time, they’ll start circulating matter community,” Glotzer said.
have extensive resources for similar programs. a petition to collect the 200 signa- “We don’t have the same kind of
For a list of lectures for Applications should be sent to both the DTL committee tures needed to bring the proposal thing here in the US.”
2014/2015, see Chair Rainer Grobe (grobe@ilstu.edu) and to the DLS Secre- before the APS Council for ap- The effort also comes in part as
www.physics.sdsu.edu/~ tary-Treasurer Anne Myers Kelley (amkelley@ucmerced.edu). proval in April. the Society tries to expand its appeal
anderson/DTL/lecturers.html The deadline is 30 May 2014 for visits in Fall 2014. Once approved by the Council, among industrial physicists.
the group becomes officially active. “There was specifically an effort
http://physics.sdsu.edu/~anderson/DTL/ After 200 members sign up, it be-
comes a full-fledged topical group
to include industry,” said Trish Let-
tieri, the director of APS Member-
and if the timing works out could ship. “The timing is right to help us
potentially start organizing sessions achieve some of the goals APS
for the 2015 March Meeting. identified in its strategic plan.”
POLICY continued from page 5

from US universities are exempt PhD scientists and engineers en- prevent visitors from returning to among others, have set up programs budgets shrink and the US visa and
from this ceiling and all H-1B visa gaged in R&D, not just those at this country, again depending on to draw expatriate scientists back immigration system remains locked
holders who work at universities universities and nonprofits, thus various factors. There are reasons home. They are offering attractive in the past, the appeal of such pro-
and university and government- putting them in a separate class from behind each of these rules, but to- salaries and funding to set up labs grams to scientists who might oth-
affiliated nonprofits, including na- those using the program for out- gether they create an unnecessarily and hire staff. In 2011, China estab- erwise come to the United States
tional laboratories are also exempt. sourcing of IT personnel. complex picture to potential visitors lished a “Thousand Foreign Experts grows. The changes advocated here
Presumably intended to strengthen The J-1 exchange visitor visa, and those who would invite them to Program” explicitly aimed at for- and others explored in this study
US science and engineering capa- which covers research scholars and US labs and classrooms. eign scientists and entrepreneurs. can help level the playing field and
bilities by bringing in international professors, is entangled in a maze of Up to now, we have still man- Korea has opened a “one-stop” maintain the position of the United
talent, the program has been ex- rules and regulations. There are re- aged to attract large numbers of top center to help foreign researchers States as a world leader in science
ploited by firms (mainly from India) strictions on how long a visitor may STEM students, postdocs, and se- immigrate. Canada has created a and technology.
that outsource information technol- remain in the United States that de- nior scientists and engineers. But new visa program to attract foreign Albert H. Teich is Research Pro-
ogy workers (programmers, soft- pend on the dates and durations of other nations are not just standing entrepreneurs. Australia, Chile, and fessor of Science, Technology &
ware developers) to US clients. One previous visits. There is a two-year by idly and watching. They know Brazil are among the other nations International Affairs, Center for
relatively easy fix for this problem home country residence requirement how important scientific and engi- with programs to attract interna- International Science & Technol-
might be to expand the exempt sub- that applies to some visitors and neering talent is to their futures. tional scientists. As US federal ogy Policy, George Washington
categories of H-1Bs to include all there are 12 and 24 month bars that China, India, and South Korea, agencies and universities see their University, Washington, DC.
8 • March 2014

W hile physics is a science, it is also a set

of tools and a state of mind. Physicists
have repeatedly found intellectual and practi-
evant to questions such as sleep/wake patterns,
proxy measures of energy consumption, and
correlation with aggregate demographic data.
cal benefit in applying their methods to new
subjects; astronomy, biology, and earth sci-
Urban Physics The third CUSP facility is the Quantified
Community. Here, some 10,000 people would
ences are prominent examples. The study of By Steven E. Koonin, Gregory Dobler, and Jonathan S. Wurtele live in a fully-instrumented new residential/
cities is another such subject now ripe to be commercial development. Simultaneous mon-
taken up by physicists. itoring of the infrastructure, the environment,
Understanding cities is a pressing global and behaviors will afford a “living laboratory”
problem. Currently about 80% of the US and to study a slice of the city and allow controlled
about 50% of the world population reside in urban assessment of technology or policy interventions.
areas, growing at over one million people per week. What will be measured, how it will be measured,
A city is a complex mix of infrastructure, environ- what will be learned, and privacy protections are all
ment, and people that must provide safety, health, questions under consideration in the current definition
housing, mobility, water, food, energy, interactions, phase of the project.
and more recently, connectivity for its citizens. We The fourth CUSP facility will be an integrated
must build new cities wisely and refurbish existing simulation of the city. Reduced models might provide
cities while improving efficiency, quality of life, insights into urban dynamics, but they must be com-
and resilience. plemented with integrated, high-resolution, vali-
Physicists Luis Bettencourt, Geoffrey West, and dated, high fidelity models of urban systems. An
co-workers have recently offered phenomenological integrated city model would combine traffic and land
explanations of several macroscopic aspects of cit- use codes with communications, economics, energy,
ies through theories based on scaling and network etc., likely in an agent-based formulation. None of
ideas from biology [1]. But what makes the science this is straightforward and the challenges include
of cities even more worthy of physicists’ attention incorporating city “boundary conditions,” determin-
now is a growing tsunami of urban data. Much as ing realistic decision rules, developing methods to
the data revolution has transformed our understand- CUSP’s Urban Observatory view of the east side of lower and midtown Manhattan from a verify and validate complex models involving human
ing of the physical world (e.g., the Large Hadron rooftop in downtown Brooklyn. The night scene consists of major and minor building lights, behavior, and exploring the limits of predictability.
Collider, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey), the rapid street and river lights, and roughly 10,000 window lights. An 8 megapixel visible camera Urban science offers robust opportunities to use
proliferation of all manner of sensors throughout acquires three-color visible images every 10 seconds. Privacy protections include a reso- the evolving tools of citizen science. CUSP is begin-
lution no finer than a few pixels/window.
society, the digitization of commercial and govern- ning to work with citizens of New York–volunteers
mental records, and advances in computing power • Enhanced monitoring of public health (spread of infec- who acquire data using personal, mobile environ-
and computational techniques can be combined to create tious diseases, behavioral and environmental impacts) mental, or stationary home sensors and who analyze data by
unprecedented insights into urban structure and dynamics. In many of these examples, benefits are amplified by an donating computational cycles, their personal expertise, and
Granular real-time data can now show how city systems open data architecture that promotes an increased understand- creating apps for data visualization and analysis.
operate individually and how they interact, both with each ing of the urban system in all sectors of society. CUSP grants MS degrees in Urban Informatics, and a
other and with people. Sensors can report real-time traffic Research and Education PhD degree is under development. The current class has 24
conditions, utility supply and consumption, bus, subway, and Four CUSP facilities are being created to anchor its research students, and the number is expected to rapidly increase.
taxi activity, environmental quality, and crime. Social media, projects. First, the Data Warehouse curates and controls NYC- CUSP’s educational program is defined by its strong applied
such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, and mobile de- relevant datasets from diverse sources, including open city component in which its students and researchers work with
vices that record exercise regimes and physiological param- data, proprietary commercial data, and data generated by NYC agencies on specific problems. Examples include:
eters provide new data streams on what people are doing, CUSP itself. The notions of data curation and data “users” are
• The quantification/characterization of noise throughout
how they are feeling, and what they are observing. In ag- familiar to the high-energy physics and astronomy communi-
the city on a 24/7 basis via in situ measurements, com-
gregate, these data streams are signatures of the functioning ties. Curating open data, which come from disparate city plaint calls, and other correlative data.
of the city and the quality of life of its inhabitants. Applying agencies in a wide range of formats, is a useful and important • The analysis of taxi data (pick-up/drop-off locations,
the same concepts of scientific inquiry that physicists use on task. The Data Warehouse balances desires for openness against time, fare, tip are available for each of the 180 million
a daily basis can yield new insights into how those cities the proprietary and privacy concerns of the data sources. trips that occur each year) to understand mobility and
work and how they can be better. Unlike physics datasets, much urban data is about people,
economic behavior.
NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) entailing the need to ensure the individual privacy of the • The study of building energy efficiency using a combi-
[2] was created in April 2012 to realize the potential of urban citizens whose collective behavior is being studied. Both the nation of self-reporting, synoptic sensing, and com-
science. Now almost two years later, CUSP is developing government and the private sector routinely collect diverse parative analysis using correlative data.
into a unique interdisciplinary institution with research, personal information. Privacy is therefore of utmost impor- • The development of novel public health monitoring
educational, and entrepreneurial components designed to tance for CUSP’s work, reflected in the responsibilities of its methods such as the genomic profile of sewage.
study and interact with New York City (NYC). CUSP aims Chief Data Officer and the approval of the NYU Institu- • The in situ monitoring and study of environmental par-
to accelerate the definition, development, and application of tional Review Board for projects that involve more than open ticulates and their sources, e.g., trucks, buses, etc.
the emerging field of Urban Science and Informatics. data. Other privacy safeguards include strict data access rules,
Stakeholders immediate data encryption, and degrading of information.
In many ways, CUSP resembles a “national laboratory
CUSP’s diversity of stakeholders reflects the many seg- CUSP and its partners aspire to develop and demonstrate best for cities”, with a strong applied research component coupled
ments of society that come together in cities. As a mission- practice in the responsible and transparent use of personal to New York City. Its researchers and students work with the
driven academic institution, university partners are central data in research and for public good, not only through norms city on real problems, where success is measured “on the
to CUSP’s culture and identity–advancing the frontiers of and procedures but also through implementation of new street” or in fiscal/operational terms. CUSP physicists must
urban science and educating the next generation of research- technologies. work with data and computational scientists, electrical and
ers and practitioners is at the core of the mission. Private The second facility is the CUSP Urban Observatory (UO),
civil engineers, social scientists, and city operators. The dif-
sector participation is essential if CUSP insights and innova- created to observe significant regions of the city at multiple ficulty of understanding how complex systems work, which
tions are to have impact at scale–researchers from corporate wavelengths. Multiple urban vantage points (e.g., tall build- appeals to many physicists, coupled with an opportunity to
partners facilitate both technology transfer and scaling of ings) afford platforms from which sensors can persistently have a positive impact on society, brought us to urban sci-
CUSP’s work. CUSP’s national lab partners find an opportune and synoptically cover the city without the mass, volume, ence. To successfully contribute to this new field, physicists
venue in which to develop and exercise their sensing, data power, or data rate constraints inherent in aircraft or satellite will have to understand the accomplishments, questions, and
management, and modeling capabilities. But the most im- observations. The range of current or future instrumentation challenges of urban research in the social sciences, a task
portant stakeholder is the NYC government–CUSP’s close includes multiband visible imaging, broadband IR imaging facilitated by CUSP’s  interdisciplinary structure.
partnerships with city agencies allow access to data, guidance (SWIR, MWIR, and thermal), hyperspectral imaging (to Physicists are trained to solve complicated problems, to
in problem definition, and opportunities to demonstrate solu- measure trace gases, building surfaces), LIDAR (to study handle large data sets, to develop new instrumentation, to
tions. building and bridge motions as well as pollution), and radar
work with interdisciplinary teams, and to apply careful ex-
Urban data has private sector, academic, civil society, and (building and street vibrations, building motion, traffic). perimental and modeling procedures to avoid self-deception.
public sector uses. Examples include: Important correlative data includes meteorology, topography
They have a tradition of organizing large groups of scientists
• Optimizing systems in real time (traffic and transit flows, and geolocation of scene elements; parcel and land use data, focused on specific research questions. It is precisely those
gas/water/electrical grid, services delivery such as EMS, …). demographics, etc. qualities that will enable physicists to make important con-
• Improved infrastructure planning (land use, public tran- The UO has begun optical imagery of NYC, providing
tributions to 21st century urban science.
sit routes, roads, utility systems) an excellent example of how physics finds application in
Steven E. Koonin, a theoretical physicist, is CUSP’s Found-
• Monitoring the condition of infrastructure (e.g., joint CUSP. Processing nighttime images (see Figure) with well- ing Director; Gregory Dobler, an astrophysicist, is a CUSP
corrosion in bridges, potholes, pipe leaks and blockages, known astronomical analysis techniques such as image reg- Research Scientist; and Jonathan Wurtele, a plasma physicist,
insulation in buildings) istration, source identification (think of the individual win-
is a Professor at UC Berkeley on sabbatical at CUSP.
• Preparing for and managing abnormal conditions (haz- dows as variable stars), color analysis, time series analysis
1. L. Bettencourt, et al., PNAS 104, 7301 (2007), doi:10.1073/
ard detection, emergency preparations, and emergency and statistical procedures, is yielding aggregate patterns of
pnas.0610172104; L. Bettencourt, Science 340, 1438 (2013)
response) temporal variation. Those patterns–and their variations with
• Increasing transparency and equity in the distribution of weather, day-of-week/ month/ season, and special events
city services. (holidays, daylight savings, elections, etc.)–are directly rel- 2. See http://cusp.nyu.edu

APS News welcomes and encourages letters and submissions from its members responding to these and other issues. Responses may be sent to: letters@aps.org