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July 2012




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July 2012

New Releases

Nuclear Physics
Download Free PDF
Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter

Nuclear physics today is a diverse field, encompassing research that spans dimensions from a tiny fraction of the volume of neutrons and protons to the enormous scales of astrophysical objects in the cosmos. As described in this decadal survey from the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies, nuclear science is a thriving enterprise; its accomplishments and major discoveries since the last decadal sruvey are causing a revision of our view of the cosmos, its beginnings, and the structure of matter within it. Further, the report describes how its techniques and instruments are being used to address major societal issues in a number of area, including medicine, national security, energy technology, and climate research. The survey concludes by presenting a global context for the field and proposing a framework for progress through 2020 and beyond.

BPA Web Site and Videos | Report in Brief



The Heart of Matter - Short Version





BPA Director Shapero Retires

Photo: Sharon Segal

Dr. Donald C. Shapero, director of the Board on Physics and Astronomy, will retire on June 30, 2012 after 38 years at The National Academies. Don earned a B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1964 and a Ph.D. from MIT in 1970. His thesis addressed the asymptotic behavior of relativistic quantum field theories. He became a Thomas J. Watson Postdoctoral Fellow at IBM after getting his Ph.D. He subsequently became an assistant professor at American University later moving to Catholic University and then joining the staff of the National Research Council in 1975.

Dr. Shapero took a leave of absence from the NRC in 1978 to serve as the first executive director of the Energy Research Advisory Board at the Department of Energy. He returned to the NRC in 1979 to serve as special assistant to the president of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1982 he started the NRC's Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA). As BPA director he has played a key role in many NRC studies including the last three surveys of physics and the last three surveys of astronomy and astrophysics. He is a member of the American Physical Society, the American Astronomical Society, the International Astronomical Union, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Transit of Venus

Venus crossed the sun on June 5 for the last time in our lifetimes. NASA recorded the event, as did professional and amateur photographers. Learn more from this handy Q&A.

"The Venus transit as seen in the 171 wavelength. This channel is especially good at showing coronal loops - the arcs extending off of the Sun where plasma moves along magnetic field lines. The brightest spots seen here are locations where the magnetic field near the surface is exceptionally strong.
Credit: NASA SDO"

Upcoming Meetings

July 23-25, 2012
Washington, DC

July 26-27, 2012
NASA's Strategic Direction
Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
Washington, DC





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