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March 1998 Physics Today Contents


Special Focus: Banning Nuclear Tests

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

An agreement to prohibit all nuclear explosions of any yield, at any location, for any purpose and for all time has been signed by the President and is now in the hands of the US Senate -- Jeremiah D. Sullivan
      Links mentioned in references:
       ** (1) Proceedings of 1996 workshop on CTBT.
       ** (2) APS Panel on Public Affairs
       ** (7a) DOE's CTBT site
       ** (7b) Arms Control Association
       ** (7c) Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
       ** (7d) Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers

Science and Politics in Early Nuclear Test Ban Negotiations

In a technical conference related to nuclear test ban negotiations in the late 1950s, Soviet and US scientists disagreed along national lines about the capabilities of scientific instruments, the validity of theories and the handling and interpretation of data -- Kai-Henrik Barth

Quantum Theory without Observers---Part One

Despite the claims of most of the founding fathers, the appeal at a fundamental level to observers and measurement, so prominent in orthodox quantum theory, is not needed to account for quantum phenomena -- Sheldon Goldstein

Gamma-Ray Colliders and Muon Colliders

High-energy physicists have learned much from colliders with beams of protons, antiprotons, electrons and positrons. Now it seems both feasible and useful to build gamma-gamma and muon-muon colliders -- Andrew M. Sessler


Search and Discovery

Research suggests a recipe for a lighter core for Earth---just add water. The idea that the most common element in the cosmos---hydrogen---could also be one of the most common on Earth has a certain esthetic appeal; if Takuo Okuchi is correct, it may also be plausible.

SOHO observations implicate a "magnetic carpet" as source of coronal heating in quiet Sun. The mystery: How is energy transferred from the Sun's 5800 K photosphere to heat the star's 3 million K corona? One likely mechanism, at least for the quiet Sun, involves short-lived loops of magnetic field that sprout on the solar surface---and resemble some kind of energetic celestial shag carpet.

Goodness gracious, small balls of fire!

Stellar motion very near the Milky Way's central black hole

Washington Reports

Clinton proposes a budget bonanza for science, exceeding expectations and outdoing Congress

Washington dispatches: Test ban treaty held hostage; Cutting college tuition costs

Washington ins & outs: Dellums and Schiff leave Congress; changes at NASA

Physics Community

Taiwan charts science and technology policy into the next millennium. The science community in Taiwan has welcomed the government's recent R&D initiatives, including a 15% increase in basic research funding this fiscal year.

California pulls together a science standards writing team. Scientists and educators from two groups will jointly draft California's science standards, which are intended to be a step toward more internationally competitive test scores and a more scientifically literate society.

       ** Survey on the "two-body problem" (Dual careers issues questionnaire)
       ** Physical Review Special Topics---Accelerators and Beams

Web Watch: IPPEX; Yokhoh Public Outreach Project; The Physics Van


After the Breakthrough: The Emergence of High-Temperature Superconductivity as a Research Field, H. Nowotny and U. Felt (reviewed by S. Foner)

Perils of a Restless Planet: Scientific Perspectives on Natural Disasters, E. Zebrowski Jr (reviewed by P. P. Craig)

The Life of the Cosmos, L. Smolin (reviewed by R. H. March)

Biochemical Oscillations and Cellular Rhythms: The Molecular Bases of Periodic and Chaotic Behaviour, A. Goldbeter (reviewed by J. Keizer)

The NASA Atlas of the Solar System, R. Greeley and R. Batson (reviewed by R. Jeanloz)

Chiral Nuclear Dynamics, M. A. Nowak, M. Rho and I. Zahed (reviewed by T. D. Cohen)

Beam-Wave Interaction in Periodic and Quasi-Periodic Structures, L. Schächter (reviewed by P. B. Wilson)

Supersymmetry in Disorder and Chaos, K. Efetov (reviewed by B. Simons)

Optical Properties of Semiconductor Quantum Dots, U. Woggon (reviewed by P. Alivisatos)


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

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