Why does the space shuttle returning to Earth cause two separate sonic booms?
By Kevin Pitts
April 19, 2012
I was at the American Physical Society annual conference a couple of weeks ago. Many great talks throughout the meeting, but the one I want to discuss was given by Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek. (I also heard talks by Nobel winners Saul Perlmutter and Adam Reis. If Perlmutter's name rings a bell for you, it might be because you watch The Big Bang Theory!)
Wilczek's presentation was in a session about the future of science funding, which was quite depressing and described well in this LiveScience article.
Wilczek spoke about the benefits of science and discussed four broad areas:
I haven't written much about these topics, because they blog is more about our undergraduate programs. But I will be writing more in the future about these points, because they are relevant to future scientists, who will definitely face a challenging landscape.
In this post, I want to summarize what Witten said about the moral benefits of science.
These aspects are related to the economic, political and cultural benefits of science. For example, the world wide web was invented by high energy physicists to facilitate the exchange of information. Contrary to the opinion of some, I don't know how you perpetrate a conspiracy in an environment where you have to release all the details of everything you do.
This isn't to say that science or scientists are perfect. We are subject to biases, ambition, and imperfections like all humans. But in the name of making progress, our field and our work is based upon reducing the bias and deception. We do that through an open, honest exchange of information.
If you have questions about the Physics Illinois Undergraduate Program, contact the Undergraduate Office, 217.333.4361.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for this blog, please contact Kevin Pitts.
Department of Physics 1110 West Green Street Urbana, IL 61801-3080Physics Library | Contact Us | My.Physics | Privacy Statement | Copyright Statement