May 1997 Physics Today Contents



The top quark, first seen just two years ago at the Tevatron, is uniquely heavy and short-lived. But its virtual presence is felt in more familiar realms -- Chris Quigg

Duality, Spacetime and Quantum Mechanics

Widely disparate themes from several decades of theoretical physics have recently converged to become parts of a single story. The result is a still-mysterious "M-theory" that may revise our understanding of the role of quantum mechanics -- Edward Witten
       ** Links to references cited

Blending Education and Research in Atmospheric Science---A Case Study

Everyone benefits when the students from a class on atmospheric measurement are drawn into a complex field project -- Stephen A. Cohn, John Hallett and Darko Koracin


Search and Discovery

Michigan State upgrade to produce intense radioactive ion beams by fragmentation technique. Very unstable nuclei produced at new facilities may yield insights into nuclear structure and nuclear astrophysics concepts such as rapid proton capture in novas or rapid neutron capture in supernovas.

With new funding, antimatter research to continue at CERN.

Meeting Preview

Applied and Basic Science Meet at Electro-Optics Conference in Baltimore
       ** CLEO/QELS 1997 on-line

Washington Reports

At 50, Brookhaven grapples with radioactive leaks and search for new director to succeed Samios

Tritium leak delays neutron research at Brookhaven

Washington dispatches: Box-office bomb; Pulling the plug on EMFs; Science policy matters

CERN director meets science board while on collision course in Congress

Washington ins & outs

Physics Community

Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy averts closure. Like all publicly funded institutions in Germany, the Max Planck Society must reduce staff. The once-threatened aeronomy institute has been saved from closure, but to compensate, even more positions in other Max Planck institutes will be cut.

Elements 104-109: Soon to be named?

A physicist now heads South Korea's science ministry

AGU creates medal to honor Lehmann

Survey finds tight but volatile academic job market

Web Watch: Patents and reader suggestions

Crossword puzzle---William Shakespeare: Machine physicist by James Savage


Why would anyone major in physics? -- Robert Ehrlich


Shocks and Rocks: Seismology in the Plate Tectonics Revolution, J. Oliver (reviewed by H. Frankel)

Active Control of Vibration, C. R. Fuller, S. J. Elliott and P. A. Nelson (reviewed by J. Tichy)

Nuclear Energy: Principles, Practices and Prospects, D. Bodansky (reviewed by R. Wilson)

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, B. W. Carroll and D. A. Ostlie (reviewed by M. Friedlander)


Our regular sections: Physics Update, Letters, New Products, We Hear That, and Information Exchange.

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