"We need to create a better understanding between the people of America and the physics community. Because many Americans believe that physics is, on the whole, inaccessible. The equations, the experiments, the strange words - these are things many people gladly left behind in high school.
"What we need to do - what you need to do - is to better translate physics into plain English. Into examples we can all understand, and why it matters to them and to the country. In contrast, the public has an easier perception of the importance of funding the life sciences.
"This dichotomy is, in part, attributable to the public's greater appreciation - and understanding - of the life sciences. Medical breakthroughs, improved public health, mapping and decoding the human genome ... these are developments that resonate with the public, and that have been, themselves, 'decoded' in a way, for general consumption.
"We need to 'decode' physics in the same way. We are seeing progress, but we need to do more."
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson,
APS Centennial Meeting, 1999
The American Institute of Physics has developed fifteen double- sided exhibits that help to explain the relationship between physics research and billion-dollar applications. "Physics Success Stories"document the successes of physics-related R&D, and illustrate the role of federal funding in these successes.
These exhibits are tailor-made for use in communicating with Congress. "Physics Success Stories" can be used for talking points in congressional correspondence or meetings, or as enclosures in letters.
You can access the first twelve of these exhibits at http://www.aip.org/success/ The last three exhibits are recent, and will soon be posted at this site.
We urge you to contact us at [email protected] for high-quality, hard copy versions of these exhibits if you will be using them as correspondence enclosures. Individual copies are free; contact us for bulk order pricing.
Physics Saves Money - Energy Efficiency
Physics Improves Health - Medical Physics
Physics Creates Jobs - Computers
Physics Drives Progress - Transportation
Physics Protects People - National Defense
Physics Fills Your Home - Consumer Goods
Physics Connects the World - Telecommunications
Physics Stimulates Industry - Lasers
Physics Saves Lives - Medical Imaging
Physics Designs the Future - New Materials
Physics Clears the Air - The Environment
Physics Launches New Business - Global Positioning System
Physics Weaves the Web - The Internet
Physics on Display - Liquid Crystals
Physics is a Sound Investment - Acoustics