June 1997 Physics Today Contents


Special Issue: Radioactive Waste

Introduction -- John F. Ahearne

Radioactive Waste: The Size of the Problem

In 50 years of producing electrical power and weapons from nuclear fuel, the US has accumulated millions of cubic meters and tens of billions of curies of radioactive waste -- John F. Ahearne

Nuclear Waste Disposal: The Technical Challenges

Public safety and billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake in the efforts to solve formidable technical problems associated with the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and defense waste -- Kevin D. Crowley

Hazards of Managing and Disposing of Nuclear Waste

When we bury long-lived nuclear wastes in geologic repositories, we have to worry about what may happen ten thousand---or even a million---years in the future -- William E. Kastenburg and Luca J. Gratton

Unresolved Problems of Radioactive Waste: Motivation for a New Paradigm

Having failed to achieve geologic disposal, the US should shift to a strategy of ongoing management and research -- D. Warner North

Nuclear Waste Management Worldwide

Numerous countries around the world are tackling the task of managing nuclear waste. By considering their approaches, we gain a broader perspective on the US program -- Charles McCombie


Search and Discovery

Finally a gamma ray burster shows optical and x-ray afterglows. We don't know whether the enigmatic gamma-ray bursters are near or very far away. But now, at long last, we're beginning to accumulate vital clues at other wavelengths.

Can phonons squeeze their way into the company of photons? The noise can be squeezed out of a light signal until it falls considerably below the quantum, or shot, limit. Now researchers are trying to use a similar trick to reduce the noise associated with phonons.

Washington Reports

Peña stuns Brookhaven lab by firing AUI managers and directing a "Mayday" message to all DOE labs

Federal court rules National Academy of Sciences must open advisory panels, threatening its independence

Rumors denied on Gibbons and Deutch

Washington ins & outs: NIST and DOD research chiefs depart; OSTP gets help

Washington dispatches:

Physics Community

Taiwan's plan to dispose of nuclear waste in North Korea stirs protests, raises questions. As the furor raised by the Taiwan--North Korea deal illustrates, the technical issues of nuclear waste disposal are inseparable from the social and political concerns.

Solar neutrino observatory gets new lease on life

A besieged SAGE is safe, for now

Physics programs threatened by productivity review in Massachusetts

New master's degree in beam physics is offered

Gehrz will be next president of AAS

Web Watch: Web access by e-mail

Graduate enrollments in physics and astronomy plunge

Solution to last month's puzzle


An Exhibit Denied: Lobbying the History of Enola Gay, M. Harwit (reviewed by J. L. Heilbron)

Conceptual Developments of 20th Century Field Theories, T. Y. Cao (reviewed by J. T. Cushing)

The Very First Light: The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universe, J. C. Mather and J. Boslough (reviewed by L. A. Page)

The Life and Legacy of G. I. Taylor, G. Batchelor (reviewed by R. J. Donnelly)

Symmetries in Quantum Physics, U. Fano and A. R. P. Rau (reviewed by W. P. Reinhardt)

Principles of Lightwave Communications, G. Einarsson (reviewed by M. Leeson)

Quantum Theory of Matter: A Novel Introduction, A. Modinos (reviewed by T. L. Einstein)


The 1996 Annual Report of the American Institute of Physics

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

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