I am a sceptic of relativity theory and am trying to become a believer. As far as I know (about this theory), time slows down when some one travels at the speed of light. What about blind people ? Will this effect happen for them as well ?.. I am curious because blind people have nothing to do with light.
To Illinois Physics colleagues, alumni, and friends,
We in the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois are at an important and exciting crossroads in our history. For the last several years, we have faced difficult challenges brought about by financial pressures, leadership changes in the University administration, increasing student enrollments, and declining faculty and staff sizes. Because of the dedication and creativity of our Physics community at all levels and the steadfast support of our loyal alumni, we survived and even thrived in that period, maintaining our scholarship, commitment to learning, and the unique camaraderie within the department that is one of our greatest and most treasured assets. On balance, we have done rather well, but it is never easy or much fun to be looking behind us and hoping to survive.
Now, the landscape has changed dramatically—we are able to look forward and the view ahead is much brighter. Due in part to downsizing and in part to the implementation of sound fiscal policies by the University in the last few years, there is a stable financial situation that will allow increased hiring across campus, investment in new initiatives, and long-overdue rewards for our talented and dedicated faculty and staff. There is a strong leadership team on the campus, one with particular knowledge and appreciation for scientific discovery and creativity—Chancellor Phyllis Wise, a biologist; Provost Ilesanmi Adesida, an electrical engineer; and Vice-Chancellor for Research Peter Schiffer, a physicist. And most of all, there is a pervasive feeling across campus that this is our time to grow and take on new challenges.
That is not to say that all is perfect—far from it. The State of Illinois continues to have long term financial problems that will almost certainly bring decreases in State support for the University, increases in tuition for our students, and major changes in the pensions and benefits of our faculty and staff. It is possible, actually likely, that there will be significant reductions in federal funding for science, making it crucial that we compete aggressively for these resources. Along with that are increases in cost of doing research, especially for some essential commodities such as energy and liquid helium for cryogenic research. Resources will continue to be limited, compelling us to be thoughtful in our planning and the choices we make. These are real problems, but no more difficult than the research problems that we embrace and address every day in our labs and offices, so we are confident that we can control and even solve them.
So what we see in the next few years is a unique window of opportunity to shape the Department of Physics and the University of Illinois and to put ourselves in a strong position for the future. In Physics, this is already happening:
As I enter my seventh year as head of the Department of Physics, I continue to be honored by the opportunity to serve our talented faculty and staff and to strive to maintain and enhance our cherished legacy of excellence in education and scholarship. It a good time for Physics. A time to be thoughtful. A time to be aggressive. A time to think big, reach high, and become even greater as a department.
Dale J. Van Harlingen, Head and Professor
Department of Physics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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