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February 1998 Physics Today Contents


The New Gamma-Ray Astronomy

Nucleosynthesis sites, Galactic black holes, gamma-ray bursters, blazars---all yield up secrets and surprises when observed with the latest gamma-ray detectors -- Neil Gehrels and Jacques Paul

Special Focus: Science Policy Then and Now

Inventing US Science Policy

After President Truman rejected Vannevar Bush's proposal for a practical transition from wartime research to peacetime science, the President turned to a trusted aide to design science policy as we now know it -- William A. Blanpied

Beyond Basic and Applied

The separation of science from society is today seen as artificial and unsustainable. The scientific community needs to negotiate a new contract with the society that funds it -- Roger A. Pielke Jr and Radford Byerly Jr


Search and Discovery

Gamma rays create matter just by plowing into laser light. Quantum electrodynamics predicts that photons scattering off nothing but light should create electron-positron pairs. But only now has this inelastic light-light scattering been seen in the laboratory.

Quantum teleportation channels opened in Rome and Innsbruck. Two experiments, using different optical schemes, have transmitted quantum states across a tabletop by means of classical messages and Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen entanglement. Applications will include new tests of the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and quantum computation.

An ion clock reaches the accuracy of the best atomic fountain. By cooling mercury ions and confining the ions to the one line in their linear ion trap where the RF field is exactly zero, researchers have minimized the jiggling and heating that have confounded many attempts to achieve precise determinations of frequency.

Space clock to fly on the International Space Station

Ultrahigh-energy sound waves promise new technologies. Researchers in acoustics have long wondered whether sound waves could replace mechanical components in devices such as compressors, combustion engines and pumps; now a team of researchers in Virginia has answered---with a very loud, YES!

Meeting Preview

The City of Angels to Host the March APS Meeting

Washington Reports

Rankled by Republicans proposing R&D boosts, Clinton touts science as economic stimulus in budget

Washington dispatches: Footing the R&D bill; Almost business as usual at NAS

Washington ins & outs: A new NSF deputy director, musical chairs at NASA and two staffers join House science policy study

Physics Community

Two surveys begin to map the universe in three dimensions. Scientists seek to answer fundamental cosmological questions by mapping the heavens; one comparatively modest survey is poised to reap the first results, while another, larger in scope, will eventually bring in more comprehensive data.
       ** 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey
       ** Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Radio astronomers are anxious to head off satellite interference at millimeter wavelengths

Dutch telescope gets new director and major upgrade

White male physicist champions workplace diversity

Maiani tapped to head CERN

Clearfield is elected vice president of ACA

Science education is focus of fundraising campaign
       ** APS's education and outreach programs
       ** AAPT's Physical Science Resource Center

Brief: Minority Physicist Archive

Web Watch: PhysicsWeb; American Institute of Physics; Physicists on the Money; NSF's Custom News


The Story of Spin, S.-I. Tomonaga, translated by T. Oka (reviewed by F. Rohrlich)

The Quark Machines: How Europe Fought the Particle Physics War, G. Fraser (reviewed by A. M. Sessler)

Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others, M. Rees (reviewed by L. M. Krauss)

Highly Evolved Close Binary Stars: Catalog and Highly Evolved Close Binary Stars: Finding Charts, A. M. Cherepashchuk, N. A. Katysheva, T. S. Khruzina and S. Yu. Shugarov (reviewed by S. Kenyon)

Giant Molecules: Here, There, and Everywhere..., A. Yu. Grosberg and A. R. Khokhlov (reviewed by T. Halsey)

The Theory of Intermolecular Forces, A. J. Stone (reviewed by K. Szalewicz)

Theory of Interplanetary Flights, G. A. Gurzadyan (reviewed by D. Folta)

The Fusion Quest, T. K. Fowler (reviewed by W. Happer)


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

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