I have heard it stated by renowned scientists, for example Stephen Hawking, that the macroscopic world is completely deterministic from a theoretical if not practical perspective, while the quantum realm is probabilistic. My question concerns the interaction of atomic radiation with the macroscopic world. The emission of a particle from a particular nucleus at a particular time is, as I understand it, purely probabilistic. If that particle hits a DNA molecule and causes a mutation resulting in cancer how can that cancer be said to be theoretically deterministic?
Professor Jeremiah Sullivan was the ninth Head of the Department of Physics, retiring in July 2006. He is also the former director of ACDIS, Unit on Technology for Peacekeeping. Dr. Sullivan received his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1964, after receiving a B.S. in physics from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1960. He has pursued a scientific career that has successfully integrated the three distinct areas of research, teaching in its broadest sense, and government service. He spent his postdoctoral years as a research associate in the theoretical physics group at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), then moved to Illinois, beginning as an acting assistant professor and advancing rapidly through the professorial ranks (assistant professor, 1967; associate professor, 1969; and professor, 1973). In the early years of his career, Professor Sullivan made significant contributions to particle physics, particularly to electromagnetic interactions and to hadron-hadron processes at high energy.
In 1974, Professor Sullivan began what ultimately developed into his major research direction when he accepted an invitation to become a member of JASON, a group of experts who provide technical analyses to the U.S. government on scientific issues relevant to national security. Every summer since 1974, he has spent six weeks working with the JASON group and has contributed significantly to its success. In addition to his direct JASON work, Professor Sullivan has also leant his expertise to a number of other important studies and reviews that have played key roles in the evolution of U.S. defense policy over the past twenty years. In 2001, he was selected by the Secretary of Energy to lead the Nuclear Nonproliferation Subcommittee of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration Advisory Committee and received a four-year appointment to the Advisory Panel of the security-related Civil Science and Technology Sub-Programme of the NATO Science Committee.
Professor Sullivan has made wide-ranging, lasting contributions to arms control and international security, including important detailed calculations of shock wave profiles from underground tests (with Illinois Physics colleague Professor Fred Lamb) and studies of technologies for enhancing the effectiveness of peace operations, comprehensive nuclear test ban issues, science-based stockpile stewardship, technology and policy of ballistic missile defenses, arms control verification, military and civilian uses of space, and science and public policy. His contributions were recognized by the 2000 Leo Szilard Award of the American Physical Society.
Technology for Peace: Enhancing the Effectiveness of Multinational Interventions
This project looks at new technologies and alternative applications of existing technologies for a variety of peace operations ranging from classical peacekeeping to direct intervention. It will be concerned primarily, with intervention in situations of political disorder or social array, especially where significant numbers of lives are at risk. Unfortunately, little attention has been given to identifying shortcomings stemming from the improper or inadequate application of existing or emerging technologies. While the development of new technologies cannot provide even a partial solution to all of the problems that will be encountered in future peace, the tools in hand are clearly not optimal and there is considerable scope for improvements of a technological character.
Hydrodynamic methods for monitoring nuclear test bans
335 Loomis Laboratory
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