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The Hobby of Energy Secretary Steven Chu

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the needs-to-get-out-more dept.

Government 177

quanminoan writes "Nobel Laureate and US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has continued to publish even while in federal office. While previous research topics include gravitational redshift, Chu has coauthored a paper entitled 'Subnanometre single-molecule localization registration and distance measurements' which discusses a way to optically image objects as small as 0.5 nm — a major step down from the previous limit of 10 nm. Chu does this in his free time, claiming 'I just consider it my equivalent of ... vegging out in front of the TV.'"

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177 comments

His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863118)

Ouch, the feeling of terrible inadequacy, laziness and lack of accomplishment. :P

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | about 4 years ago | (#32863292)

Every year you age, it will get worse.

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863330)

Every year you age, it will get worse.

never fear, nigger jokes is here

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (1)

hipp5 (1635263) | about 4 years ago | (#32863998)

Every year you age, it will get worse.

I get this feeling every time I sit down to watch the World Cup and they mention 20 year old Thomas Muller. Gah! 20! What the hell have I done with my 22 years?

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | about 4 years ago | (#32864126)

When I came to realize that I do not find any pleasure in some things, I stopped caring that I was rather enjoying everyday pleasures such as watching entertainment, surfing the internet, writing on /. and other discussions fora and playing games instead of working on the something to make humanity better.

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#32864288)

Unless......you stop watching TV so much and start doing something. The choice is yours.

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863404)

WOW, that's almost as pathetic as if he was a GNU/Linux user!

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (2, Informative)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 4 years ago | (#32863700)

I used to have a boss- every time I saw him, the thought went through my head, "you must have been washing your hair while this guy was reading papers." His hair was never combed straight and he wiped everyone's ass across the floor in every scientific staff meeting.

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863852)

+1 funny

I'd say that BO is proportional to intelligence, but I know it's probably just proportional to laziness...

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 4 years ago | (#32863898)

Can he play the Chu Chu Boogie on lab instruments?

I know this is supposed to be an article where we (4, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | about 4 years ago | (#32863938)

.. make fun of Chu, but I am such a Chu groupie. A surefire way to draw me to a conference is to announce that he'll be speaking there. ;) I just loved him during his confirmation hearing, how he perked up when finally asked a question that was even remotely technical. "Now we're getting to Science! I love this!" I had read some of his papers before he was even tapped for the position; I was so thrilled to hear he was picked. He really knows his stuff.

His big weakness is that he's no politician, and he sometimes has trouble keeping is mouth shut from speaking politically inconvenient things. For example, dealing with the hydrogen people... ;)

You would think... (0)

sycodon (149926) | about 4 years ago | (#32864058)

...that with the shit hitting the fan everywhere, the economy in shambles, urgent need to find "clean" energy, etc. that he wouldn't have time for such things.

Is he paying attention?

Re:I know this is supposed to be an article where (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 4 years ago | (#32864252)

His big weakness is that he's no politician, and he sometimes has trouble keeping is mouth shut from speaking politically inconvenient things. For example, dealing with the hydrogen people... ;)

Be thankful. Here in the UK we sack our scientists for being politcally inconvenient, just look at the recent drugs fiasco.

Re:His equivalent of TV is publishing papers (1)

outsider007 (115534) | about 4 years ago | (#32864166)

I hope he still has time to make more soccer/kung fu movies

Easier to get published (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863122)

When you're a cabinet member, it's probably easier to get published in Nature. Even when your paper is pure theoretical wanking rather than actual application of the amazing ideas you dreamed up.

Re:Easier to get published (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 years ago | (#32863154)

Theoretical principles come before implementation.

Re:Easier to get published (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863182)

He is a Nobel Laureate. If that does not help him out then the extra boost for being a cabinet secretary is probably not going to be much extra help. Oh, and get a grip, wanker.

Re:Easier to get published (5, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 4 years ago | (#32863276)

Oh, and get a grip, wanker.

I think that's pretty much the definition of a wanker.

bill richardsons hobby (5, Funny)

ifeelswine (1546221) | about 4 years ago | (#32863134)

was doing fred flintstone impersonations

Re:bill richardsons hobby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863870)

I thought that was Elena Kagan's hobby.

Right Wing and Moores Law (4, Insightful)

OldSoldier (168889) | about 4 years ago | (#32863144)

Two comments...

a) how long before right wing pundits claim that this is proof Chu isn't doing the job he was hired for?
b) is this viewing technique applicable in reverse for microchip optical etching/lithography?

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 years ago | (#32863166)

b) is this viewing technique applicable in reverse for microchip optical etching/lithography?

...and does the US Government now own it?

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#32863430)

That would be perfect because everything produced by the govornment is in the public domain.

public domain/govt product (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863650)

Not everything produced under gov't contract or by gov't employees is in the public domain. Far from it.
Things you do, not at work, and not "on the clock" belong to you (regardless of who you work for). If you use your employer's facilities (e.g. your work laptop that you brought home), your employer gets a "shop right" to use it on a non-exclusive basis.
Many, many government contracts these days have a limited rights clause, where the price is lower in exchange for the government getting a non-exclusive license to the product of the contract, but no right of reproduction or disclosure.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

the gnat (153162) | about 4 years ago | (#32864014)

That would be perfect because everything produced by the govornment is in the public domain.

Not even close. The AC who replied covered some of the major points, but it's pretty complex. Basically, the Bayh-Dole act (passed in 1982, I think) allows a great degree of latitude in commercialization of research done with government funding - the idea being to encourage economic development AND turn raw technologies into useful consumer products ("consumer" used in the broadest possible sense, since these technologies could become anything from specialty laboratory instruments costing $500,000 to OTC medications). How this is actually interpreted varies in practice, but the general consensus (as far as I can tell) is that it's an imperfect system but no one can think of a better alternative.

I actually work for the DOE writing software, and none of what I do is "public domain". Some of it is Free Software (BSD-ish license), the rest is free-as-in-beer for academics, and companies have to pay (they get the code too, but can't redistribute it). This is a pretty typical arrangement (in our case, the rules are dictated more by the funding source, which is the NIH). A large part of the reason for this is that the licensing revenues help pay for the research - I'm sure as f*** not getting rich off this. I'd be happier if it was all Free Software, but mostly because I think it would make my job easier and get more people to use our software. Compared to many of the other licensing arrangements that scientists invent for government-funded research, ours is pretty reasonable. The NIH is starting to get stricter about what they allow - some funding specifically requires that the source code be made available, and programs need to be free for academics. But public domain (or Free Software, which I think you're confusing it with) has never been a requirement.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32864266)

nope. it mostly concerns signal processing, not an improvement in the actual optics.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 4 years ago | (#32863198)

a) how long before right wing pundits claim that this is proof Chu isn't doing the job he was hired for?

Well I think we just saw how long it takes for someone to politicise this.

Pot, meet kettle.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (2, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 years ago | (#32863210)

Bingo, as a "rightwing nut" I couldn't care as long as he does his job when he's supposed to.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 4 years ago | (#32863306)

Bingo, as a "rightwing nut" I couldn't care as long as he does his job when he's supposed to.

That disqualifies you from being a "nut" - at least in this area.
Now if you want to lay claim to believing Obama was born in Kenya and is a secret muslim terrorist, you can have that title back.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (0, Flamebait)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 4 years ago | (#32863454)

What we have here seems to be a fine example of the "No True Scotsman" [wikipedia.org] fallacy.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 4 years ago | (#32863520)

No, its a terrible example because of the kenyan modifier.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about 4 years ago | (#32863960)

Obama was born in Kenya

I. Don't. Fucking. Care.

Quite seriously, why is that even important?

I think a requirement that you have been a citizen, naturalized or not, for at least 15-20 years is reasonable. That would indicate you at least have some understanding of our culture and experience. There is already an age requirement, for pretty much the same reasons. That way, the unwashed masses could not get psychotic and vote in some barely 20 something American Idol finalist.

Having to be born within some geographic boundaries as a serious consideration on whether or not I want you as my President? Ridiculous.... It is not much different than having to establish nobility on both sides for 5 generations. Way too much like a birthright to me. Why not call it something like Rule by Divine GPS Coordinates?

We are all immigrants in this land, or children of immigrants. To grant a birthright, IMO, goes against what I consider being an American is. The idea is that WE get to elect our President. Why should our choice be limited on such an irrational basis? No felons? Makes sense. No children, or person under the age of 35? Sure, we want somebody mature. Purple? Uhhhh, what?

I really could care less if Obama turned out to have been somewhere else on this planet. Saying he is secretly a fundamentalist Islamic Terrorist under Deep Cover is just CRAZY. No other words for it.

What I am more concerned with is his piss poor performance so far as a President. Change never occurred, and things are really getting worse. Especially our rights, ACTA, Medical reform, reigning in Wall Street, ridiculous bail outs, etc. The last thing I care about right now is that he was allegedly born in Kenya.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 4 years ago | (#32863976)

I know it is bad form to reply to your own post, but I felt this was necessary to say, and you can mod this into oblivion if you want....

Obama has not performed well, IMO, or represented MY interests. However, I do believe that wants what is best for America.

To contrast that with Bush.... If there was somebody acting as a secret agent for another country trying to subvert and destroy America, Bush could have given the man lessons.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (-1, Offtopic)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 4 years ago | (#32864066)

Hey, there is a word you might want to familiarize yourself with. Its pretty commonly used hereabouts, it goes like this, "wooooooooooooooooooooooosh!"

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 4 years ago | (#32864112)

The wooooshh does not apply. That would mean I missed something, such as obvious sarcasm. I didn't.

You replied to that poster indicating a "rightwing nutjob" might bring up the issue of Obama's place of birth. Politics aside, my question to you, the GP, and anyone else, is why we give any kind of serious consideration to the physical location of somebody's birth on this planet as a qualification for leading a democratic nation?

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863414)

No, actually, you are not a "rightwing nut," unless you are both 'rightwing,' and a 'nut' -- not one or the other. "Nutjob rightwinger" might imply a relation between the two, but the opposite order does not.

Also, you seem to lack understanding of what pundit actually means. A pundit isn't necessarily a nut; a pundit is a public figure, a real person, so the GP's accusation of political insinuation is off the mark.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863808)

thats nice. GP was asking how long before someone with a megaphone politicizes it. GP is just an asshole posting on a blog, he's not Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Beck, Palin...

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | about 4 years ago | (#32863226)

Hobbies are for pinko socialists!

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863944)

and so is science for that matter!

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

Improv (2467) | about 4 years ago | (#32863314)

Would be amusing to have people worrying that the Chinese even own positions in our government now :P

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863554)

1 nanosecond

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (2, Insightful)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 4 years ago | (#32863582)

I know I am walking into your trap - but I know from my own personal career as an engineer that I have sought outside diversions (consulting, projects etc..) when I have had jobs where I was:

a. Bored into oblivion / no challenges
b. Couldn't get anything done at work because of process (one job I had as a government contractor)
c. Felt my skills would wither and die if I did not actively pursue them myself

So definitely I look at this as evidence of someone who is preparing for when this job is just a bad memory

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 4 years ago | (#32863602)

and I'll add that when I have jobs that I find challenging, rewarding, interesting etc.. I have NO time or desire for outside distractions - just an observation from a proclaimed "Right Winger"

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about 4 years ago | (#32863900)

No multi-tasking for you too?

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 4 years ago | (#32864222)

My current job is multitasking to the max ! Its one of those jobs that is so cool and fun you cannot believe you are getting paid to do it !

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

turing_m (1030530) | about 4 years ago | (#32864312)

In any job there is going to be some tedious stuff. During those times, even when away from work, don't you ever get ideas that just pop into your head (e.g. something cool might be possible if I do x,y, and z) and you just have to get the nearest back of an envelope and start designing? Usually that is more fun than doing the routine part of a once interesting job. During those times I think it's good to reward your muse and make a rough design there and then, otherwise you might lose the idea forever.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 years ago | (#32863628)

Speaking as a DOE contractor and a fairly liberal guy, I can say... Crap. Not much of anything. I'm wondering if Obama, should he get a second term, will experience the typical attrition of cabinet members.

And hoping, in at least one case, he will.

Re:Right Wing and Moores Law (1)

bkeahl (1688280) | about 4 years ago | (#32863964)

Oh, he's as qualified as anyone else in the administration.

Beats him whinging about Americans being spoiled (0, Troll)

Scareduck (177470) | about 4 years ago | (#32863158)

C.f. [heraldsun.com] .

Re:Beats him whinging about Americans being spoile (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863208)

How dare he be so honest? Doesn't he realize he is now too a politician?

Re:Beats him whinging about Americans being spoile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863512)

I love how the author spins a convincing retort like "But Chu is wrong that Americans are "like teenage kids." Americans are understandably reluctant to ..." in such an apologetic and subservient display of support. We need to teach our kids how to assess when they are being pandered to.

Re:Beats him whinging about Americans being spoile (0, Offtopic)

Cwix (1671282) | about 4 years ago | (#32863262)

I really... really.. REALLY hate people who start their post in the title.

Glad to be of (1, Offtopic)

Twinbee (767046) | about 4 years ago | (#32863296)

service.

Re:Beats him whinging about Americans being spoile (0, Offtopic)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#32863352)

I really... really.. REALLY hate people who start their post in the title.

I don't get it either. To me they're like people who send email with subjects like "yo", "tomorrow", and the like.

Re:Beats him whinging about Americans being spoile (5, Informative)

Myji Humoz (1535565) | about 4 years ago | (#32863338)

Americans aren't spoiled compared to most other Westerners? If you actually read the article, he said "The American public ... just like your teenage kids, aren't acting in a way that they should act" with respect to climate change. He seems correct, and I would say that it's a welcome change from PR spinning and political doublespeak.

Re:Beats him whinging about Americans being spoile (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863724)

He seems correct, and I would say that it's a welcome change from PR spinning and political doublespeak.

I'm just amazed that someone as smart as Chu would think that you can effectively slow down the locust-like consumption of resources that humans are so good at. I won't begrudge people for TRYING to stop global warming, but really we should be trying to plan for the consequences... this thing is going to happen.

Re:Beats him whinging about Americans being spoile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863970)

"The American public ... just like your teenage kids, aren't acting in a way that they should act" with respect to climate change.

Then maybe he should set an example. [nytimes.com]

Easier to get published (-1, Troll)

bbartlog (1853116) | about 4 years ago | (#32863180)

...when you're a Cabinet member. Even when your paper is pure theoretical wanking rather than any practical application of your idea.

He should continue doing useful work... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863184)

...instead of ineptly running the almost useless Department of Energy.

Re:He should continue doing useful work... (2, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | about 4 years ago | (#32863230)

Yeah, don't they know energy is always conserved? How could we ever run out?

Re:He should continue doing useful work... (2, Informative)

Jhon (241832) | about 4 years ago | (#32863354)

Question: Why was the department of energy created?

Answer: Out of the oil crisis of the 1970's, it was formed to attempt to free us from dependence on foreign oil.

Percentage of imported oil in 1977 (when the department was formed): ~35%
Percentage of imported oil in 2010: ~64%

Re:He should continue doing useful work... (3, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | about 4 years ago | (#32863526)

Question: What is the purpose of China's One Child Policy is to decrease the Chinese population?

Answer: To decrease the Chinese population.

The Chinese population has nearly doubled since the One Child Policy started.

But one has to wonder What would the population be today had there been no One Child Policy?

Critical thinking: It's more that a knee-jerk reaction based on a sound bite.

Re:He should continue doing useful work... (0, Troll)

Jhon (241832) | about 4 years ago | (#32863598)

Critical thinking: It's more that a knee-jerk reaction based on a sound bite.

I would suggest re-reading my post, then your post. Then I would further suggest you actually apply a bit of critical thinking and see if what you posted actually means what you obviously think it means.

Re:He should continue doing useful work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863804)

Couldn't you double a population by simply keeping people alive longer? If you have a huge baby boom, like post-war China, each of those people having a single kid and then a single grand-kid would triple the size of the boom population.

Re:He should continue doing useful work... (4, Informative)

Artifakt (700173) | about 4 years ago | (#32864228)

Except the Dept was really created to control nuclear applications, both for reactors and bombmaking. It wouldn't have become a Cabinet level post with armed agent personnel without the Nuclear side.

Here's their mission statement. I've highlighted the Nukestuff:

The Department of Energy's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex. The Department's strategic goals to achieve the mission are designed to deliver results along five strategic themes:
Energy Security: Promoting America's energy security through reliable, clean, and affordable energy
Nuclear Security: Ensuring America's nuclear security
        Scientific Discovery and Innovation: Strengthening U.S. scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and improving quality of life through innovations in science and technology
Environmental Responsibility: Protecting the environment by providing a responsible resolution to the environmental legacy of nuclear weapons production
        Management Excellence: Enabling the mission through sound management

You'll notice that Nuclear related technologies are explicitly mentioned three times, and that, while energy security is about 'reliable, clean and affordable energy', and presumably economic security is referenced again by that 'affordable' bit, there's also the phrase national security as a separable clause.

Not too surprising (4, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | about 4 years ago | (#32863196)

There are people around with amazing personalities, definitely not all top level academics are this dedicated, but they exist. Anyone who's done a PhD and postdoc(s) at top tier research universities will have spent time schmoozing with several.

Obama got this guy largely because he asked. If a president doesn't get high level people, he's very likely got a reason he doesn't want them. Bush (cough)

He's Qualified Because He's a Nerd? (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 4 years ago | (#32863456)

I've schmoozed with plenty of PhDs and post-PhDs, and I haven't met a one whom I'd like to see in a position of any political power or federal-level responsibility. Does this guy Chu sound like he'd be an interesting fellow with whom to have to have a beer? Sure. But you could have described him as a self-taught banjo impresario or the CFO of a large alliance in Eve Online and he'd sound just as interesting, and just as qualified for a cabinet-level job.

Re:He's Qualified Because He's a Nerd? (3, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 4 years ago | (#32863638)

I work with people who have titles like "Chief Scientist". Some of them, sure, I'd vote for them for some office or another because I've seen them handle things like management and budget (this is the private sector after all) and how it pertains to pushing the edges of R&D. Concepts like "We can afford *this* cool breakthrough this year. Put *that* even cooler idea in your top drawer, and we'll explore it next year when we'll have more budget, but put hooks into your current design here and here for it so we can leverage the hardware we build this year."

Others, if they were in charge, well, let's just say I'm not a violent person, but I'd personally lead the rebel army that took them down.

Scientists are just people. The geekverse needs to let go of this scientist worship. Yes, this country needs to appreciate math and science more and yada yada and all that. I grok that and support it wholeheartedly. I'm ever considering writing a book to reach segments of our society previously written off for such things. But this idea that some here and elsewhere have that scientists are automatically these cool people dedicated to truth, justice and unbiased world views is pure fantasy. I can't even figure out where it came from other than as a reaction to all the religious loonery,

Re:He's Qualified Because He's a Nerd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32864060)

I can't even figure out where it came from other than as a reaction to all the religious loonery.

I think you have an answer. I can't remember the specific quote, but a crazy person occasionally makes even the sane person go crazy.

One other influence would be that the qualification for meeting 'nerddom' status has lowered significantly over the years. It doesn't even involve having completed an education. If you can churn out a few lines of code, you're a geek... no exceptions.

Re:He's Qualified Because He's a Nerd? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 4 years ago | (#32864114)

Scientists are just people. The geekverse needs to let go of this scientist worship.

Putting aside the fact that some geeks are the scientists you describe, the public perception of scientists as white coat-wearing boffins with pipes and tweed jackets is more the fault of the media than the scientists themselves.

I'm proud of the Beeb bringing Prof. Cox into the limelight - though I'm not a fan myself - but unfortunately there are many who will publically applaud the idea of our impartial, dedicated and modest whitecoat. They only do so to decry a real one.* Geeks aren't the problem because they usually know what scientists and academics are really like.

As I understand it, the good Mr. Chu wasn't given his post as the result of a public vote. That makes him more akin to a public servant than a politician, I would say, and frankly the US is lucky to have him. Elections are rather like exams: often they don't gauge how well a candidate will perform in office, rather the candidates' ability to pass exams.

*Sir Humphrey was dead on. You all know which quote I mean. No XKCD today chaps.

Re:He's Qualified Because He's a Nerd? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 4 years ago | (#32864132)

Here's what Chu really brings to the table as Secretary of Energy: He knows wtf he's talking about, and more importantly wtf the various people who come to him are talking about.

And don't think that's not a critical ability to have. If, for instance, you're the head of a software company, and you don't understand software, then it's very likely that you'll make poor decisions because one of your subordinates misleads you for their own gain, and you'll allow incompetent people to remain in their jobs because you don't know that they're incompetent.

Oh, and the reason why Obama picked this particular scientist is that he's shown regularly that he can run large laboratories and major scientific projects, which is not totally different from what he's called upon to do now. If nothing else, picking Chu pissed off the coal and oil industries quite a bit, which made it a worthwhile pick.

Always the Bush dig eh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863574)

Ya gotta get over it, it will hold you back and give you ulcers.

Let the hate go.

which way is it? (1)

jmichaelg (148257) | about 4 years ago | (#32863234)

The gravity abstract says:

...gravity is a manifestation of space-time curvature..

I thought it was the other way around, that is, gravity results in space-time curvature. How does matter warp space-time if it isn't using gravity (whatever that is) to do it?

Re:which way is it? (2, Informative)

BKX (5066) | about 4 years ago | (#32863258)

An object's mass warps space-time. Gravity is the after-effect. (Of course there are issues with that theory but it's a good start.)

Re:which way is it? (1)

orangesquid (79734) | about 4 years ago | (#32863272)

I believe it is generally understood that the presence of mass causes curvature of space-time around it, and the force of gravity that is exerted upon mass is due to space-time curvature. The universe can have a natural curvature (i.e., outside of curvature due to mass) that is not flat, as well, which predicts the final destination of the universe by changing the long-term outcome of expansion, iirc. but, ianap.

Re:which way is it? (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | about 4 years ago | (#32863880)

Well, you see, the mass puts pressure on the aether and -- *whack*

No, no, no one mentioned aether. Nothing to see here, move along. Move along.

Yeah but... (1)

BigSes (1623417) | about 4 years ago | (#32863290)

Whats he watching? Futurama or UFC?

NO! (5, Funny)

Yaos (804128) | about 4 years ago | (#32863300)

It's disgusting that we allow this person to be in office. His pro-science methods are incompatible with energy policy, pure and simple.

Re:NO! (5, Funny)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#32863320)

Fucking magnets, how do they work? And I don’t wanna talk to a scientist Y’all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed!

Re:NO! (0, Offtopic)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#32863696)

Flamebait? Really?

Re:NO! (1)

caerwyn (38056) | about 4 years ago | (#32863758)

It's really not even worth asking that with regards to slashdot moderation, unfortunately.

Re:NO! (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 4 years ago | (#32863882)

Think of it as the moderator modifying himself "clueless" [knowyourmeme.com] .

What about the oil spill? (0, Redundant)

yyxx (1812612) | about 4 years ago | (#32863348)

Just wondering.

Re:What about the oil spill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863400)

You seem new here. Do you really have excellent karma? just wondering?

Re:What about the oil spill? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863600)

The article was submitted last December 26, months before the oil spill began, and he had two coauthors who could have kept working on it in recent weeks if necessary.

Re:What about the oil spill? (1)

hoytak (1148181) | about 4 years ago | (#32863632)

BP had better be doing a good job with the cleanup, cause now we have a way to be REALLY sure it gets cleaned up.

Re:What about the oil spill? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863872)

What about it?

Can you name anything that Obama's cabinet, personally or collectively, can do that will in any way get the relief wells drilled sooner?

Re:What about the oil spill? (2, Funny)

MobileC (83699) | about 4 years ago | (#32864174)

The oil spill is larger than 0.5 nm so there shouldn't be a problem.

I love hanging out at my electon microscope (0, Offtopic)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | about 4 years ago | (#32863492)

Watching my PTF tabletop fusion reactor generate neutrons that occasionally bombard the tiny bit of palladium in my scope (mostly bombarding me and my bedroom). I get a warm feeling while watching, not to mention memory lapses and occasional retinal flares. I also have problem with the memory and CPU in my computer sudde

Re:I love hanging out at my electon microscope (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 4 years ago | (#32863982)

You call your pathetic tabletop fusion reactor a hobby??? I laugh at your feeble inadequacy. My Zero Point Energy Extractor will leave you and your puny efforts as a minor footnote of history. As soon as I figure out how to get my dog back through the inter-dimensional vortex, I'm going public with it, and the world will see what a hobbyist can do, quantum bifurcation anomalies and fractional dimensional rifts be damned!

Re:I love hanging out at my electon microscope (1)

Artifakt (700173) | about 4 years ago | (#32864256)

I just checked, and I have a crowbar handy. Carry on.

Bottles Preserves (3, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about 4 years ago | (#32863702)

He makes his own Chu Jelly. The blue's okay, but don't eat the purple.

Brains and ambition (1)

macraig (621737) | about 4 years ago | (#32863756)

Since that combination of high intelligence and ambition is so often NOT socially beneficial, it's a damned good thing that this one wound up becoming a nerd and distracted with science....

Re:Brains and ambition (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | about 4 years ago | (#32864178)

I know what you mean. I watched Pinky & The Brain too.

Flamebait oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32863894)

why can't he spend his free time coming up with the best way to deal with (and bite the bullet and solve) the nuclear fission waste issue cleanly as possible, exponentially increase teh efficiently of solar energy receptors, maybe solve the problems remaining preventing an endless energy source from actual fusion, then he can move on to cold fusion, infrastructure and standards for flying cars, and flying bicycles Will someone please put a frickin' laser beam on this shark? I know, just a man, but wgpcgr, such a special office filled with such a rare individual should be exploited by the Forces of Good (FoG) to ensure a better future.

That's funny, I'm a physicist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32864000)

... and I spend my free time complaining about how the Dept. of Energy is run.

FRAUD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32864106)

Dr. Steven Chu has committed fruad!

A third author, is no author. He makes claims to things that are NOT his!

The first author committed fruad too!: having a "Chu" in the authors list only for the reason for this "Chu" is the current US Sec DoE and nothing else.

Good Night Empiror Dr. Steven Chu ... the Terra Cotta Warriors are waiting.

He reminds me of GW Bush (4, Funny)

Z8 (1602647) | about 4 years ago | (#32864172)

http://www.theonion.com/articles/bush-finds-error-in-fermilab-calculations,1463/

Funny, but the fact that it's funny is also sad (sad that it's so ridiculous to think he'd be interested in science). Glad that what was parody is now sorta true.

Well at least this guy did something to earn it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32864246)

His Nobel Prize, that is. Unlike his boss. That medal has become an albatross around Obama's incompetent neck. Show us the jobs, motherfucker. You wasted a year ramming overpriced healthcare up our asses, when job-creation would have resulted in more people having health insurance.

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