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Chu's Final Breakthrough Before Taking Office

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the chewing-up-the-scenery dept.

Government 233

KentuckyFC writes "While preparing for the job of US Secretary of Energy in the incoming Obama administration (and being director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a Nobel Prize winner to boot), Steven Chu has somehow found time to make a major breakthrough in the world of atom interferometry. One measure of an interferometer's sensitivity is the area that its arms enclose. Chu and colleagues have found a way to increase this area by a factor of 2,500 by canceling out the noise introduced by lasers, which work as beam splitters sending atoms down different arms (abstract). One thing this makes possible is the use of different types of atoms in the same interferometer, allowing a new generation of tests of the equivalence principle. (This is the assumption that the m in F=ma and the m's in F= Gm1.m2/r^2 are the same thing). Let's hope he's got equally impressive breakthroughs planned for his encore as US Secretary of Energy."

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I know, right? (5, Funny)

Shaitan Apistos (1104613) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512315)

(This is the assumption that the m in F=ma and the m's in F= Gm1.m2/r^2 are the same thing).

That's what she said.

Re:I know, right? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512379)

Roland Piquepaille hasn't updated his blog in a while. I'm started to get worried. Is he traveling or something?

Re:I know, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512607)

he's dead

Re:I know, right? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512617)

No, really, guys, why hasn't he been updating?

Re:I know, right? (-1, Redundant)

beav007 (746004) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512675)

He's dead, idiot. [slashdot.org]

Re:I know, right? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26513203)

Yeah right, like I'm gonna click on a link.

Seriously, why hasn't Roland posted recently?

Re:I know, right? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26513461)

andnothingofvaluewaslost

Re:I know, right? (1)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513281)

It's life Jim, but not as we know it.

Re:I know, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512547)

Sadly, the DOE will likely crush him. Many come hoping to change things. They leave... broken men.

Re:I know, right? (5, Funny)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512583)

(This is the assumption that the m in F=ma and the m's in F= Gm1.m2/r^2 are the same thing)

Bah! Just another example of More-of-the-Same! Where's the change we were promised from the Obama Administration!

Just another example of an Obama appointee trying to maintain a status quo!

Re:I know, right? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26513005)

she said that you need to take your tiger cat to the vet school

Not "final" (2, Interesting)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512331)

The title seems to imply he wont make any more breakthroughs after taking office. Yet I hope and I think that he should continue to due science work even after taking office and there is no reason why he couldnt.

Re:Not "final" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512393)

...he should continue to due science...

You've got to be fucking kidding me. Eye can't believe you just did that.

Re:Not "final" (0, Offtopic)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512499)

Cool, so now can I say that I took diff eq before I went into highschool?

Re:Not "final" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512529)

He shall continue to make great advances in the field of Science -at least as long as the supply of Atmospherium holds out.

Re:Not "final" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512543)

Keith Dawson wrongly titles yet another article. Surprise surprise.

Re:Not "final" (4, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512599)

Chu's Final Breakthrough Before Taking Office

Keith Dawson wrongly titles yet another article. Surprise surprise.

(I'm going to assume the title hasn't changed since you wrote that.)

Unless Chu has another breakthrough he's going to unleash before... Tuesday I would say it's a pretty accurate title. I doubt he'll make another breakthrough in 24 hours.

Re:Not "final" (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512629)

I'd just love to hear him use the phrase, "Look at me, still talking while there's science to do."

Re:Not "final" (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513221)

I'd rather hear, "Stand back! I'm performing science!"

Re:Not "final" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26513355)

I want to hear him testify before congress and use the phrase "Science... it works, bitches."

Re:Not "final" (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513243)

I'd just love to hear him use the phrase, "Look at me, still talking while there's science to do."

/starts slow clap

Pure awesome.

Interferowhatsjiggy? (5, Informative)

gravos (912628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512355)

In case you're an idiot like me, you might appreciate to know that interferometry is about studying the properties of two or more waves by looking at the pattern of interference created by their superposition. The instrument used to interfere the waves together is called an interferometer.

What, you don't remember this stuff from Physics 101? Shame on you...

Re:Interferowhatsjiggy? (-1, Flamebait)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512549)

What was the point of your post?

If you are, as you say, too stupid to know what interferobolloxs is then why would you make a post to explain it to us?

And seriously, who here in /. does _not_ know what it is.

Re:Interferowhatsjiggy? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512611)

And seriously, who here in /. does _not_ know what it is.

People with mod points.

Re:Interferowhatsjiggy? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512773)

What was the point of your post? If you are, as you say, too stupid to know what interferobolloxs is then why would you make a post to explain it to us? And seriously, who here in /. does _not_ know what it is.

The point is, intelligent people with a better-than-average knowledge of physics may not be familiar with atom interferometry. He didn't know what it was, researched it, and provided a definition for the benefit of others. That's being informative. Whining about how stupid it is to provide information because you're, admittedly, unfamiliar with the subject is flaming.

Re:Interferowhatsjiggy? (5, Funny)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513265)

And seriously, who here in /. does _not_ know what it is.

*raises hand*

Some of us don't have time to learn EVERYTHING, since we do go outside every once in a while. That's that bright place between your folks' basement and the D&D store, btw.

Re:Interferowhatsjiggy? (5, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513151)

An interferometer is a cool device. By splitting a single beam of light into two, we end up with two identical waves which can then be made to interfere to create patterns that can be observed with the unaided eye. The cool thing is that microscopic changes in path length result in macroscopic changes in the pattern.

One of the neatest applications of this is the Michaelson Morely experiment. A the time of this work, theory was going back and forth between light as a wave and light as particle, and at the time light was a classical wave, which meant it needed a medium to travel, like sound needs air or water waves. It was theorized that the universe was saturated with an aether to carry the light. IIRC, it was theorized that as the Earth moved through the aether, there would be differences in the speed of light based on direction the light is going. In this work, a light beam was split, made to travel in perpendicular direction, and the difference in speed measured.

No difference was measured. this implied that no aether existed. this implies that the waves traveled without a medium. This was quite a surprising result, and was the beginning of the end for classical mechanics. 10 years later we had quantized energy, 15 years later we had the photoelectric effect tell us light was a particle, and a few years after that we have matrix and wave mechanics.

Re:Interferowhatsjiggy? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513379)

a few years after that we have matrix and wave mechanics.

And a few years later we have the whole thing is a hologram [slashdot.org] and the speed of light (and everything else) is subject to where you are because that alters your light cone and hence your local laws of physics.

Sometimes I think the more you know, the more aware you are of how much you don't know.

Any relation to Alex Chu? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512397)

There was a researcher named Alex Chu who was involved in measuring the effects of oscillating magnetic fields in near-body encompassments. I remember he had made some significant progress, but haven't heard much else about it in a while.

I wonder if they are related.

Re:Any relation to Alex Chu? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512405)

Chu is a popular name, you insensitive clod.

Re:Any relation to Alex Chu? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512489)

http://www.alexchiu.com/

Re:Any relation to Alex Chu? (2, Funny)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512525)

Just because it's a popular last name doesn't mean that everyone with the last name 'Chu' is sterile, you insensitie clod.

Re:Any relation to Alex Chu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512531)

No, but he's a relation to Frank Chu.

Re:Any relation to Alex Chu? (1)

wesman83 (700326) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512587)

Chu has a brother who is in science but his name is Gilbert.

Unfortunately... (-1, Troll)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512425)

...the article didn't say who did the work.

Just the politician whose name is attached to it.

Re:Unfortunately... (5, Informative)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512601)

...the article didn't say who did the work.

Just the politician whose name is attached to it.

unfortunately.. you don't understand whats going on.... the man being selected for the DOE position is a scientist, not a politician. And while preparing to become a politician, he still made progress as a scientist.

It says who did the work. Steven Chu. He will soon become a politician who has actually done something in life.

Re:Unfortunately... (4, Insightful)

Hooya (518216) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513079)

I seriously hope that this new administration will end the era where willful ignorance was a virtue.

Re:Unfortunately... (5, Informative)

Maxmin (921568) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513095)

He will soon become a politician who has actually done something in life.

What's more, he's replacing a typical D.C. corporate revolving-door appointment, Samuel Bodman [wikipedia.org] . The man sat on his thumbs while energy prices trebled during Bush's time. He came from Wall Street ferchrisakes, and he'll probably head back to the corporate world, where I'm sure he'll be heartily welcomed for taking up the business agenda while at DOE.

With Chu, there's a pretty good chance he'll point DOE in a new direction, towards funded research for actual energy alternatives.

Good riddance to the Bush robber barons.

Re:Unfortunately... (2, Funny)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513231)

You here that? That's the noise hell makes as it flash freezes.

Re:Unfortunately... (3, Insightful)

Maxmin (921568) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512637)

...I didn't read the article, so I don't know who did the work.

There, fixed that for you.

co34 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512429)

AASOCIATION O$F outstrips

Obviously... (5, Funny)

overzero (1358049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512445)

Obviously this is just an attempt by the democrats to distract from the nation's problems as Obama takes office. They should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting the public's interest in atom interferometry this way.

Re:Obviously... (1, Offtopic)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512503)

My kingdom for a mod point!

Re:Obviously... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513311)

My kingdom for a mod point!

sadly you didn't tell the mod you traded your kingdom to where it should be placed.

Nice Change (3, Interesting)

zwekiel (1445761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512453)

It's a nice change from the previous high level government officials of the Bush Administration, who were appointed not based on their knowledge and experience in a given field, but their willingness to bend the truth according to the Bush administration dogma.

Re:Nice Change (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512753)

It's a nice change from the previous high level government officials of the Bush Administration, who were appointed not based on their knowledge and experience in a given field, but their willingness to bend the truth according to the Bush administration dogma.

That was my initial reaction. But at that level of responsibility I much prefer someone being appointed for their competency to manage well rather than their ability to do technical work. I have no idea if Chu is a good manager or not, just saying that the Peter Principle is something to be avoided.

Re:Nice Change (3, Insightful)

overzero (1358049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512849)

Two things:

First, someone as generally intelligent as Chu should be able to figure his job out no matter what. We're not talking about idiot savants here, we're talking about people who are incredibly good learners.

Second, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Berkeley_National_Laboratory [wikipedia.org]

Re:Nice Change (1)

antic (29198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513013)

"That was my initial reaction. But at that level of responsibility I much prefer someone being appointed for their competency to manage well rather than their ability to do technical work. I have no idea if Chu is a good manager or not, just saying that the Peter Principle is something to be avoided."

I can appreciate that, but I think there's also an advantage in someone like this being elevated to that position where they may serve as inspiration for others.

Hadn't heard of the Peter Principle before - cheers!

Re:Nice Change (2, Interesting)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513039)

What makes you think Bush appointees where good managers? Or where even close to being competent for the position they where appointed to?

Re:Nice Change (2, Informative)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513189)

Err, he is the director of LBNL, so I would assume he would be a good manager as well as a good scientist.

Re:Nice Change (1)

Fishmoney (954814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513543)

That was my initial reaction. But at that level of responsibility I much prefer someone being appointed for their competency to manage well rather than their ability to do technical work. I have no idea if Chu is a good manager or not, just saying that the Peter Principle is something to be avoided.

The role of a professor in research at a university IS mostly management. Especially with a high profile scientist like Chu, much of his work would be traveling and raising grant money while giving suggestions and guidance to a large group of graduate students who do the actual lab work.

Re:Nice Change (4, Insightful)

overzero (1358049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512807)

I think this is even truer than it sounds. A lot of people Obama's tagged have very little incentive to take the position other than if they feel they might be able to get stuff done. All the good scientists I know mostly just want to work on cool and interesting things and see administration and bureaucracy as a necessary evil, making the aspects of these jobs which can be exploited for monetary gain less attractive than getting back to a lab. Furthermore, any career politicians in their positions would be ruined by going around the administration, whereas it's not like Steven Chu will ever struggle to find a job he wants. The upshot is that these guys have little to lose by being forced to resign, whereas it'd look horrible for Obama if they go off in a huff because he won't listen to them. Obama's been accused of talking change without having any substance, but I think he just hit the point of no return on following good science. It'll certainly be nice to see Nobel Prizes having more weight than Magic 8-Balls.

Re:Nice Change... to the outgoing/slinking admoni (0, Troll)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512887)

Chew on THIS, you wankers! We've got a a spidey and an x man inbound, so, unlike yours, we have some enlightened phat to Chu on...

Re:Nice Change (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513359)

the danger with that, is he might not know the in's and out's of washington and be ineffective. the best managers i've ever had were non techincal (also the worst where as well), he might not be willing to listen to other points of view either - you just have to look on /. to see how unwilling the science/geek types are to consider other peoples opinions as having some merit.

Paper shuffling is not a good job (2, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513411)

At least it should not be a national goal to take the people who are expanding the realm of human knowledge and chain them to a desk managing federal middle managers. It's cruel. It's wasteful.

Kudos to the incoming administration for being able to figure out who the thinkers in their country are. That's a refreshing change from the previous administration. Now please - for the sake of us all - when you identify them, leave them in place and appoint administrators to get stuff out of their way. For all our sakes, don't take them from their honest work and make lobbyists out of them. I'd rather you set money on fire. Really.

For the Record... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512459)

From http://arXiv.org/auth/show-endorsers/0901.1819 :

Holger Müller: Is registered as an author of this paper.

Sven Herrmann, Sheng-wey Chiow and Steven Chu are not registered as owners of this paper.

Sure, it doesn't nail down who did what exactly, but if I had a question about the paper, I'm asking Holger first.

Re:For the Record... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512667)

According to http://arxiv.org/help/not-registered.html, Steven Chu may not be a registered owner for as simple a reason as not having a user account with that website.

That said, Mueller is listed as final author of the paper and Steven Chu is listed second to last, which pretty much throws all assumptions based on position out the window. (See http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=562 for a comedic but sadly true primer).

Mueller served as a postdoc under Chu but both are professors. Based on Mueller's other publications (http://www.physics.berkeley.edu/research/faculty/mueller.html) and Chu's second-to-last position, I'd say the other two names are postdocs in his lab. Really, I'd ask those two if you want to know the specifics on this experiment. Blind guess at Chu's role, but probably functionally a PI - more of an adviser role.

Steven Chu is the head of a laboratory of 1,100. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26513319)

Steven Chu is the head of a laboratory of 1,100 people. I doubt he has much time to work in a laboratory. It would be interesting to know what work on this he actually did himself.

Re:For the Record... (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512747)

Chu is a big name, so its hard to tell whether he was the driving force behind this research, or tossed on the list of authors to get funding. Muller is an Assistant Professor. Chiow is a post-doc.

Herrman, I can't find a position for via a quick google search, but it looks like he's been putting out papers under Muller for 5 years, which means he's been working under him even longer. The only way you'd work under one person for that long without having a larger internet presence is as a meek and lowly grad student.

Therefore, my guess is this - Muller or Chu comes up with idea. Chu gets funding. Muller does the over-arching theory behind the idea (probably with help from Chu). Chiow leads in actual lab work, while Herrman does the grunt work. But hey, at least its better than being an undergrad. Those poor saps probably got jobs like "write down the number on this display every ten minutes for the next four hours", and they don't even end up getting listed.

great researcher not a great manager make (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512481)

Hard to think of many examples where a brilliant researcher turned into a great administrator. James D. Watson is perhaps exception that proves the rule - he was brilliant but lazy, who seemed to be in the right place at the right time when he co-discovered the structure of the DNA molecule.

Meanwhile at NASA we have Michael Griffin, and the Ares/Direct controversy that sprung up around him. Doesn't this kind of thing make the Obama people (and Congress) nervous?

Re:great researcher not a great manager make (5, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512763)

You are right. Many researchers would not make a good manager. OTH, Dr. Chu is ALREADY director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and doing a good job. [wikipedia.org] I am guessing that he will do a bang up job as nation director. Far too often politicians bring in more politicians because they LIKE the person, not because the person is qualified to lead. In this case, Chu is not likely to be BSed.
In light of the idiots that we have had directing the science world for the last 8 years (and to be honest even in Clinton and reagans terms), this is refreshing.

Re:great researcher not a great manager make (1, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512815)

Some of the biggest idiots I have met in my life have also had the most IQ and education.

Re:great researcher not a great manager make (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513017)

Some of the biggest idiots I have met in my life have also had the most IQ and education.

That may be true. It is also true, however, that a very large fraction of the idiots I have met in *my* life have low IQs and little education.

Moral: Maybe you should stop hanging around in law firms?

Oh really? (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513453)

The highest IQ guy I've ever met (that I know about) drove a car for a living and aspired to not work any harder than he had to. His greatest aspiration was to get laid today if he could. He seldom met this goal. His IQ was measured at 165. He was interesting to talk to. Most people aren't.

His hero was Groo the Wanderer [comics-db.com] .

What did this experience teach me about intelligence? Exactly nothing. Which is what I gained from your post. But at least you didn't puke in my shoes like he did.

So Let me get this straight (5, Funny)

voss (52565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512491)

Our incoming president reads spiderman comics and his secretary of energy is some incredible nobel prize winning genius who ran a program called "Bio-X", can we possibly get more nerdy?

Re:So Let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512539)

Our incoming president reads spiderman comics and his secretary of energy is some incredible nobel prize winning genius who ran a program called "Bio-X", can we possibly get more *AWESOME*?

There, fixed that for you.

Re:So Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512839)

Obama ... Oooo BAM Ahhh... fap fap fap OOOOO BAAAAAAM AAHHHAHHA fap fap fap fap fap

Re:So Let me get this straight (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513241)

We could find out Obama has some sort of underground lab where he works on armor powered by an implanted reactor of some sort. Yes, we can definitely get more awesome.

Re:So Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512853)

can we possibly get more nerdy?

Yes, if Obama starts calling him "Chewie."

Nerdy? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512991)

I don't know about that, but it certainly sounds like a recipe for disaster.

When Obama turns into an evil Oba-man we'll know who to blame.

practical use? (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512579)

Nice that Obama is all techno- and elitist, but how is this going to change the lives of Joe Sixpack? Oh wait, the elected officials are not concerned with Joe Sixpack, just maintaining their power.

Re:practical use? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512619)

^-- I'm with stupid

Re:practical use? (4, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512639)

Yeah it's a shame Joe Sixpack hasn't been able to enjoy any of the techno-elitist discoveries of the last 2,000 years (or as he used to be called Joe Sixmule).

What we need to do is elect more people without any experience or education in the area they've been tapped to administer so that government can concentrate on failing to provide any service what so ever.

Re:practical use? (0, Offtopic)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512933)

I'm so tired of the Bush administration. Please, let it die. :(

Re:practical use? (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513175)

What we need to do is elect more people without any experience or education in the area they've been tapped to administer so that government can concentrate on failing to provide any service what so ever.

There's two schools of thought when it comes to management:

1. Managers should have experience in the field so they can make informed decisions based on their background knowledge.
2. Managers should know how to manage and can rely on advisers to provide the technical information upon which they base their decisions

And the thing is, neither school of thought is inherently right or wrong.
It is totally dependent on the position to be filled and many can go either way.

For example, Obama picked the 1st type of manager to be Sec of Energy, yet he picked the 2nd type to head the CIA.

Re:practical use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26513245)

I think you mean Joe Sixewer rather than Joe Sixmule. Joe Sixamphorae would also be acceptable.

Wrong experience ? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512649)

The last thing you want is someone so hands on in a high level position. Those people need to know how to pick people they can trust to properly carry out tasks. In this case a knowledge of business and how the world works is far superior to some idealistic lab experience.

Re:Wrong experience ? (5, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512799)

He's the director of a research institute with over four thousand employees and a half billion dollar budget. I think he can handle the managerial stuff just fine.

Re:Wrong experience ? (1)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512819)

Yes... that's the way it's been a long time here in America. I couldn't be more fucking psyched for some idealistic lab experience if I were the governor of Eureka.

Re:Wrong experience ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512857)

The last thing you want is someone so hands on in a high level position. Those people need to know how to pick people they can trust to properly carry out tasks. In this case a knowledge of business and how the world works is far superior to some idealistic lab experience.

AH-hahahahahahahaha!

Oh wait, you were serious. Let me laugh even harder!

(ROFDL!)

*znork* 'Cause yeah, having things run by generic managerialists with no idea what's happening under them has been such a fantastic idea in the past. It's why government in the 20th century developed a reputation as capable and efficient, with initiatives and regulations that were brilliantly suited to the problems they were aimed at.
  Oh man, I can't keep this up a straight face. I give up.

Re:Wrong experience ? (1)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512925)

Yeah, because that's worked *SO* well for the past 8 years.

Re:Wrong experience ? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513239)

Yeah, because that's worked *SO* well for the past 38 [wikipedia.org] years.

fixed

DOH! I kno dah maths! (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513263)

Yeah, because that's worked *SO* well for the past 38 [wikipedia.org] years.

fixed

This is what I get for quitting caffeine cold turkey.

it should read 28 years!

Re:Wrong experience ? (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513205)

The last thing you want is someone so hands on in a high level position.

Worked for Monika Lewinsky.

Re:Wrong experience ? (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513219)

Worked for Monika Lewinsky.

Lewinski? Don't want to stain that good name. Might get a dressing-down.

Re:Wrong experience ? (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513235)

Lewinski?

Close, but no cigar.

Ummm (-1, Troll)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512683)

I'm a huge nerd- and I usually enjoy talks of nerdy things- but
English motherfuckers, do you speak it?

Dammit Steve Chu (2, Funny)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512731)

He's gone and made us all have to feel inferior again. Seriously, does the man just exist to make the rest of us feel like we're idiots who can't get anything accomplished in life? I have to ask myself what Steve Chu could do to be more impressive and at this point the list is pretty short:

1. Prove the Riemann Hypothesis.

2. Bring peace to the Mid-East.

3. Turn out that to have made an amazingly human AI in his free time that escaped and now calls itself Randall Munroe and writes xkcd.

Re:Dammit Steve Chu (4, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513093)

No, he'll bring Linux to the desktop, cure cancer, and get Adobe to release 64-bit Photoshop for the Mac... in that order.

Many men smoke... (1)

Blaede (266638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512739)

...but fu manchu.

Experience? (0)

greatgreygreengreasy (706454) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512761)

It's great and all that he's so smart, but how will his experience translate into change in our nation's energy policy? We get most of our power from coal, oil, natural gas, and hydro, so how does his research have any bearing on those sources?

Re:Experience? (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513299)

It's great and all that he's so smart, but how will his experience translate into change in our nation's energy policy? We get most of our power from coal, oil, natural gas, and hydro, so how does his research have any bearing on those sources?

well, as a physicist he would know from examination of the energy alternatives being debated whether energy lobbyists are blowing smoke or voicing genuine concerns.

Qualifications (0, Troll)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26512793)

Let's hope he's got equally impressive breakthroughs planned for his encore as US Secretary of Energy

There is a world of difference between physics and the Department of Energy. One deals with particles and waves and mathematics, the other deals with human beings, tangled networks of regulations, and discordant policy objectives. Mr. Chu's qualifications as a scientist will have no bearing in his new role.

Re:Qualifications (5, Informative)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513019)

As has been pointed out many, many, ... many times before.

He's the director, as in, head honcho, manager type, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a Department of Energy funded facility. He's undoubtedly familiar with the rules and regulations of the DoE. In addition, he directs a staff over -over- four thousand scientists and management, and commands a budget -over- five hundred million dollars annually.

How is he not qualified, again?

Re:Qualifications (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513247)

Only $500 million a year? That's what one shuttle launch costs. It appears our DoE could use a bit of a budget boost.

Re:Qualifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26513449)

So what you're saying is that we should scrap the shuttle program and dump the savings into energy infrastructure? Sounds crazy, but hey I'm game...

I'm not a physicist but that is a terrible summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26512969)

"... cancelling out the noise introduced by lasers, which work as beam splitters sending atoms down different arms ..."

Lasers work as beams splitters ?

Sending atoms ?

Um, yeah, right.

He is 2nd to Last Author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26513081)

... Which probably means he is just being credited as administrator of the Lab.

After his first 100 days in office... (4, Insightful)

wrecked (681366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26513293)

... I'll bet Chu will be thinking that physics is a piece of cake compared to governing the US.
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