Physics@MIT Journal

Issue: Fall 2004

Message from the Department Head 4

New Faculty 6

Faculty Notes 10

News & Events in Physics 13

Student Honors & Awards 17

Alumni/ae Notes 34

Giving to the Department of Physics 55

Donors 60

Emeritus in a Flash
22 Five years ago, eminent atomic physicist and Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics Daniel Kleppner publicly chastised, by means of a Physics Today essay, his fictitious colleague, "Professor X," who obstinately balked at retirement. Now completing his own first year of emeritus status, the Director of the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms reflects upon his experiences from the other side of the retirement "fence."
Quantum Information: Joining the Foundations of Physics and Computer Science
26 A pioneer of quantum information science, experimentalist Isaac Chuang of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms describes how the unlikely, but rewarding, exchange of ideas between physics and computer science has opened the door to an exciting new scientific realm..
From Vibrating Strings to a Unified Theory of All Interactions
30 Distinguished physicist Barton Zwiebach takes us on a tour of string theory, from a description of the first vibrations of the string, to the emergence of extra dimensions, gravity and quarks.