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Poster for talk

Saturday Physics for Everyone; Martin Gruebele (UIUC) "The Future Prospects of Science"

Event Type
Physics Department
141 Loomis Laboratory
Nov 5, 2022   10:15 am  
Martin Gruebele
Irene Lira-Andsager
Originating Calendar
Physics - Saturday Physics for Everyone

When Einstein's paper on general relativity came out in 1907, who would have thought the equation E=MC2 would 100 years later be programmed into our cell phones’ GPS apps, to accurately guide us to our dinner restaurant? When Berzelius discovered the new element silicon in 1823, who would have thought it would one day be critical to the microchips in the same cell phones? When Ivanovsky in 1892 first discovered the virus that infected tobacco plants, who would have thought in 2006 the FDA would approve a vaccine against a human cancer, developed from a tobacco mosaic virus epitope? And when Picasso painted Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, who would have thought that just 85 years later it would sell for $100+ million? Scientific discovery, like art, often takes time to show its full value. Any one of the strange things we find out about nature today—whether it is the 14+ billion year age of the universe, the odd little ways in which fish go about swimming, or the fact that fat, protein, and genes absorb infrared light from a toaster oven in slightly different ways—could lead to the next cure or billion dollar industry, but not likely within just a couple of years.

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