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Head of Laser Firm Picked for Energy Research Job

By | July 13, 1987

LWERMORE, CALIF.—The Reagan administration once again has reached into industry to fill a key science policy position with the nomination of Robert 0. Hunter Jr. to head the Energy Department's Office of Energy Research. President Reagan announced June 23 that he will nominate Hunter for the position, which oversees $2 billion worth of energy research programs. The Senate, which must confirm the appointment, will set a date for hearings once the nomination is officially submitted. Hunter

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Hunt the Paradox and Fate May Smile

By | July 13, 1987

Pasteur's dictum "Chance favors the prepared mind" is in my experience a truism, but! would add that whether the mind is prepared may itself be a matter of chance. It certainly was in my case. I became a chemist because of a rather poor chemistry teacher at my secondary school. Later in life he became director of education for Lancashire and was knighted, which is perhaps only another illustration that an indifferent understanding of chemistry is not necessarily a bar to advancement in other fi

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WASHINGTON—The future of America's economy depends in large measure on the ability of industry to exploit new and emerging technologies, according to a new Commerce Department study. The report, prepared by experts from the National Bureau of Standards and other Commerce agencies, identifies seven major groups of emerging technologies that they believe will result in new products or processes in the next century. These include advanced materials, electronics, automation, biotechnology, co

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LaRouche Crackdown Shuts Two Magazines

By | July 13, 1987

WASHINGTON—Scientists, science organizations and industry groups are investigating charges the federal government is improperly sup pressing publication of two fusion energy magazines tied to presidential candidate and conspiracy theorist Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. On April 21 federal marshals seized the Washington, D.C., area offices and froze the bank accounts of Fusion magazine and The International Journal of Fusion E ergy, both published by the Fusion Energy Foundation, a LaRouche affili

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Lessons From the Michelson-Morley Experiment

By | July 13, 1987

This year marks the centenary of one of the most important scientific experiments ever performed It was in Cleveland, Ohio in 1887 that Albert A. Michelson and Edward W Morley undertook a measurement that was a milestone in man's effort to understand the way in which light travels through space. Physicists regard this work as a crucial step in our journey toward an understanding of the very nature of space and time itself Had the results of this measurement been different, Einstein's theory of

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Michelson-Morley: The Great Failure

By | July 13, 1987

On July 12, 1887 Albert A. Michelson and Edward W Morley made the final measurements in an experiment that inadvertently changed forever the way we view the workings of the universe. The pair hoped to prove the existence of the ether—the invisible fluid thought to permeate the universe and to serve as the medium through which light waves travel. Michelson modified the interfërometer—a device that splits a single beam of light into two and then recombines the two parts into one s

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More AIDS Funds Asked

By | July 13, 1987

WASHINGTON-The question this summer for AIDS researchers is not whether, but by how much, the federal budget will be increased for work on the disease. President Reagan recently boosted his budget request to $523 million, up from the $413 million originally sought in fiscal 1988 for Public Health Service efforts to fight the disease. The additional money would increase funding for research on the causes of the disease to $266 million, and provide $257 million for the development of treatments an

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New U.S. Amnesty Law Trips Foreign Students

By | July 13, 1987

BOSTON—Thousands of scientists and engineers who have been in the United States illegally over the past decade after arriving as students may not be able to gain amnesty under an interpretation of the new immigration law by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officials. The law, which promised amnesty to foreigners living illegally in this country since before 1982, is being applied "very liberally" to those who entered the country illegally—primarily undocumented workers fr

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WASHINGTON—The National Academy of Sciences has assembled its blue-ribbon panel to assess proposals for the Superconducting Supercollider. And participants promise that the group will take a balanced—if not completely disinterested—look at the suitability of what are expected to be dozens of proposals to land the multibillion dollar construction and research project. "Short of getting Martians, there was no way to avoid bringing in people who might be affected by the ultimate

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Panel Refines NSF Centers

By | July 13, 1987

WASHINGTON—NSF's proposed science and technology centers should not be required to obtain industry support nor to encompass more than one discipline, according to a new report by the National Academy of Sciences. Funding should be ended after nine years, the report suggested, and the pro gram should not be supported at the expense of grants to individual investigators if NSF's budget fails to grow as quickly as the administration has proposed. The 11-member panel, chaired by chemist Richa

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