Feature Articles

Congress through a Fish-Eye Lens

In the seven or so years between leaving college as the proud possessor of a Ph. D. in the physical sciences and April of last year, I had followed fairly closely the traditional career patterns that are expected of those of us who invest so much of our lives in obtaining the right to be constantly mistaken for physicians. I had worked impatiently through the almost inevitable postdoctoral fellowship and spent the following four years teaching graduate courses and researching on the faculty at the University of Miami and the next several years heading up somewhat larger research programs for a federal agency.

by Douglas A. Segar
The Multiple Mirror Telescope

On top of Mt. Hopkins, located some 40 miles south of Tucson, Arizona, a new telescope is now approaching completion. This telescope is the largest or third largest in the world, depending on whether one considers diameter or collecting area as the important characteristic of an optical telescope. This instrument, named the Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) because of its six-fold array of optical apertures, represents the first full-scale attempt to build an aperture-array telescope for general-purpose use.

by R. R. Shannon
Keeping History Alive: The AIP Center for History of Physics

Some two decades ago a number of physical scientists became aware of a problem: The history of their science was vanishing. The pioneers whose achievements had laid the basis for modern work were disappearing one by one, the tales they remembered were dying with them, and the records of how they made their discoveries were going into the wastebasket.

by Spencer R. Weart