Thursday, March 8, 2007

Science is cool - well at least physics

The New York Times Reports that Physics is cool!

Still, for those few days in 1987, physicists were excited, and the excitement spilled out of the Hilton into the rest of New York City.

“The stores and the bars were all ‘Physicists welcome,’ ” said Paul M. Grant, who headed the superconductivity research at I.B.M.’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose. He recalled a discotheque in Chelsea with a long line of people waiting to get in.

“The bouncers took anybody that had a physical society badge on to the front,” Dr. Grant recalled, “and we got in gratis. Can you imagine what a culture shift? We had a hell of a good time.”

Well at least it was 20 years ago
Fifty-one talks later, the session ended at 3:15 a.m. People lingered in the halls until almost sunrise. The session quickly became known as the “Woodstock of Physics.”

So they talked a lot, but maybe also cool stuff came out of it?
But today the heady early promises have not yet been fully filled. High-temperature superconductors can be found in some trial high-capacity power cables, but they have not made any trains levitate. The rise in transition temperatures has stalled again, well below room temperature. Theorists have yet to find a convincing explanation for why high-temperature superconductors superconduct at all.

Well maybe someday!

Meanwhile, if people would look into science as an interesting field to pursue and there was more money available we would get to these amazing places.

Don't forget, there will be peace in the Middle East when someone finds an efficient renewable power source.

1 comment:

Beisrunner said...

I'm taking a graduate course on superconductors right now. Superconductors were first discovered in 1911, but it took 50 years to come up with ANY explanation for how they worked. So it's not surprising that in 20 years they haven't been able to explain the abnormal cases.