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Monday, February 22, 2010

Does the Secretary of Energy have a bit too much free time?

Anonymously contributed:

Does the Secretary of Energy have a bit too much free time?

Cal physicist helps confirm Einstein theory
David Perlman, San Francisco Chronicle Science Editor
Monday, February 22, 2010

A UC Berkeley physicist and a Nobel prize-winning colleague now in President Obama's Cabinet report they have confirmed one of Albert Einstein's most revolutionary theories 10,000 times more accurately than ever before.

Einstein's theory of general relativity has already been tested and confirmed to a degree as a true picture of reality by scores of experimenters, ever since he proposed it to the world nearly a century ago.

In the immediate decades after the theory's publication, legend had it that only 12 people in the world could understand it, although physicists have long revered it. Even today, relativity remains an arcane subject for most of us, but it does have relevance to all science and even to everyday life - for meticulous timekeepers, for space explorers, for astronomers studying black holes and even for anyone driving a car with a Global Positioning System device navigating around the Bay Area's tricky freeway mazes.

One basic prediction from Einstein's theory is that the tug of gravity makes clocks slow down.

Now Holger Müller, a physicist at UC Berkeley, together with Steven Chu, former director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and now Obama's energy secretary, as well as Achim Peters of Humboldt University in Berlin, report they have developed what is by far the best confirmation yet of Einstein's monumental achievement.

Details of their work are published in the current issue of the journal Nature…


Anonymous said...

And people wonder why Dr. Chu has yet to make good on efforts he announced last year to clean-up the bureaucratic putridity emanating from the DOE? I guess he was just too busy. Maybe next year?

Anonymous said...

Hey! He's busy discovering new ways to get rid of power reactor waste.

His first discovery was that we can just leave it where it's at for 4-5 decades.

His 2nd revelation was that we'll let the Government own the waste & that will be that.

I tell ya, this guy's way smarter than Einstein.

Anonymous said...

Given the usual turnaround time on publications, essentially all of this work was probably completed before Dr. Chu was sworn in as Secretary. Besides, you're not going to suddenly take out everything that makes him a great scientist. Whether he becomes a great reformer of bureaucracy is still TBD. I like to believe he is at least going to give it a serious shot.

Anonymous said...

Let's list the accomplishments of the more recent former Secretaries of Energy to put Chu in perspective. James "Tiger Team" Watkins, Hazel "I'll declassify classified and have caviar in my private DOE jets, thank you very much" O'Leary, Frederico "Boulevard" Pena, Bill "Wen Ho Lee" Richardson, and Spencer "I'll commercialize nuclear weapons" Abraham. Yeah, he fits.

Anonymous said...

If Al Gore can win a Nobel prize, my cat could. So what if Chu has one too - it means nothing.

Anonymous said...

Let's list the accomplishments of the more recent former Secretaries of Energy...

February 24, 2010 8:04 PM

Don't forget James Edwards, the dentist.

Anonymous said...

"Does the Secretary of Energy have a bit too much free time?"

Beats sitting around and watching the dysfunctional NNSA labs slowly revolve around the drain hole.


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