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Government Science

The Hobby of Energy Secretary Steven Chu 177

Posted by kdawson
from the needs-to-get-out-more dept.
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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The Hobby of Energy Secretary Steven Chu

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @07:55PM (#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.

  • by OldSoldier (168889) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @07:59PM (#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?

  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @08:00PM (#32863154)
    Theoretical principles come before implementation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @08:04PM (#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.
  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Saturday July 10, 2010 @08:06PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @08:10PM (#32863208)

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

  • by bunratty (545641) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @08:14PM (#32863230)
    Yeah, don't they know energy is always conserved? How could we ever run out?
  • Every year you age, it will get worse.
  • by bunratty (545641) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:06PM (#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.

  • by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:18PM (#32863582) Journal

    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

  • by EdIII (1114411) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:35PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:02AM (#32864330)

    Yeah he is, that's why he's continuing to do things that contribute to America staying on top of the technical bar rather than sinking into further MBAness (which is what got us in this mess in the first place. Too many MBAs, Lawyers, and Politicians, and not enough legal/technical ways to get rid of them :D

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:13AM (#32864370)

    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?

    You're right, that would be silly.

    But the Constitution doesn't say anything of the kind. It says, "a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution."

    You do know that children born to Americans outside the US are still citizens, right? That pregnant American women overseas are not rushed home in a terrified panic lest their children be foreigners with no right of residence? There's this whole nifty procedure we've got for these scenarios. There's this form you fill out with the local US Embassy to register the birth so that there won't be any problems later on when your child needs to prove their citizenship and their birth certificate is in Farsi or Basque.

    It might seem like Rule by Map, but that's really only true when dealing with, say, a non-citizen immigrant family who had one child before immigrating and another after. In that circumstance, yes, the location of the birth made all the difference, and the map won. I think edge cases like that are an acceptable sacrifice to make in the name of preserving our jus soli rather than jus sanguinis system of citizenship.

    I think the natural-born thing was a pretty reasonable defense mechanism for a tiny, fledgling group of republics who had just fought off the suzerainty of a king who had never set foot there. A king, indeed, who ruled over a great many lands he'd never set foot in; one amongst many such. Seems like a pretty fool-proof way to ensure that your leader has a vested interest in your nation's welfare, and isn't simply a silver-tongued French provocateur, no?

    If you don't like it, lobby to have the Constitution amended. It's a legacy of a bygone era, certainly, but it's not as capricious or asinine as you suggest.

  • Public Information (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ISoldat53 (977164) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:17AM (#32864386)
    It's too bad one of our employees is writing a paper that appears behind a pay wall.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:30AM (#32864428)

    After all it's just a model that working with high accuracy within some limits.
    I'm a bit against 'It IS this or that way'. No, it is just a model.

    The process of modelling the world, we live in, starts with the concepts of space and time already. Space-time is another idea.
    If we forget that what we build up in our minds are just models of the world or forget that there might be better models that explain things differently, then we might manouver ourselves into a dead-end path, where further understanding of the world is just not possible. Sometimes it requires radical new ideas to get ahead.
    Quantum mechanics and realitivity are such ideas, but we haven't reached the end yet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @01:38AM (#32864642)

    That's not a "No True Scotsman" because he is refuting the claim that Mashiki is a nut, not claiming that "all real nuts do this". Mashiki is acting rationally. Therefore, he is not a nutcase and the statement doesn't apply to him. "Right-wing nut" does not mean "everyone with a conservative viewpoint", it means those that are far off the deep end. In other words, if I can have a rational discussion with you and you actually listen to my arguments and present well thought-out responses, you are not a right wing nut. If you respond to every argument by yelling "You Socialist Fascist Communist Pig! Real Americans believe in total independence and pledge allegiance to Glenn Beck every morning", then you are a right-wing nut and actually are demonstrating the No True Scotsman fallacy.

  • by SydShamino (547793) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @02:09AM (#32864746)

    I would assume, the intelligent man that he is, that he can pay attention to more than one thing at the same time.

  • by SydShamino (547793) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @02:17AM (#32864764)

    Are you one of those people that think companies should own every creative output of their employees, even ones done at home on their own time on an unrelated topic?

  • by mcvos (645701) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @07:57AM (#32865670)

    I recently read an article that pointed out that the best geniuses are terribly lazy. You don't invent an easier way of doing something when you're okay with doing all the old-fashioned hard work. The wheel wasn't invented by someone who thought it was normal to carry heavy loads on his back.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.

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