WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 13 October 1989 Washington, DC
RAMSEY, DEHMELT AND PAUL SHARE THE 1989 NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS
for contributions to atomic precision spectroscopy. Half of the
prize went to Norman Ramsey of Harvard for the separated fields
method and its use in the hydrogen maser and other atomic clocks.
Wolfgang Paul, of the University of Bonn, and Hans Dehmelt, of
the University of Washington, jointly received the other half for
the development of the ion trap technique. Dehmelt, who has been
at the University of Washington since 1955, was awarded the
Davisson-Germer Prize by The American Physical Society in 1970.
Ramsey, who has been at Harvard since 1947, served as President
of The American Physical Society in 1979 and as Chairman of the
Board of the American Institute of Physics 1980-86. Dehmelt has
been continuously supported by NFS since 1959 and Ramsey for a
year longer (WN 22 Sept 89). Ramsey
terminated his grant in '82.
. "THE FEDERAL HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING PROGRAM,"
Congress last month by Allan Bromley, Director of OSTP
(WN 8 Sept 89), was the
subject of various hearings in the House last week.
The $2B plan is strikingly similar to a plan proposed by Sen.
Albert Gore (D-TN) and calls for supercomputer research and
development as well as a high-speed data network linking
government, industry and university research centers. It is
clearly a response to the Japanese challenge. Rep. Markey (D-MA)
opened hearings on "The Network of the Future" by noting that
Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Company has embarked on a massive
$240B investment in integrated network services meant to reach
every business in Japan in the early '90s. As if that weren't
worry enough, Bromley warned of a projected severe shortage of
computer scientists and engineers in the '90s, in hearings on
"High Performance Computing." Computer science has experienced a
dramatic drop in freshman enrollment, falling 2/3 in four years.
3. THE NAS COMMITTEE ON THE CONDUCT OF SCIENCE
today released a
stunning booklet, "On Being a Scientist," primarily for students
who are beginning to do scientific research. The committee was
chaired by biologist Francisco Ayala, who produced the wonderful
NAS booklet on Creationism five years ago. The new booklet is
particularly relevant in light of the claims of "cold fusion."
The helium assay of the Utah cathodes has never been released.
4. THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY REVISITS "COLD FUSION" NEXT WEEK
at its meeting in Hollywood, FL. This time, the society did not
restrict papers to "confirmations" of cold fusion
(WN 5 May 89);
the 26 scheduled papers are almost all negative. Fleischmann and
Pons were invited but said "no" when the society declined to pay
their regular speaking fee. Meanwhile, reports of aliens landing
in the Soviet Union were scoffed at by flying saucer experts in
Britain and the United States. They pointed out that the aliens
were described as twelve feet tall with small heads, whereas it
is well known that they are only four feet tall with large heads.