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Physics of Tomorrow

December 8, 2016

In a special issue of Physics Today, scientists speculate about the physics of the 22nd century.

Transcript

Scott Richard Physics Today

(Scott Richard/Physics Today 69, 12, 40, 2016)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Physics of the future. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A supercomputer that appreciates good jokes; workers fired because they have problematic facial expressions. If these stories sound like science fiction, it could be because they are. The December issue of the serious magazine Physics Today features the winning entries of a contest to write the sort of research studies they might publish in the year 2116. Senior editor Stephen Blau says the first place winner described a space telescope array made of asteroids polished into mirrors by lasers.

STEPHEN BLAU (Physics Today):

His telescope was literally the width of the asteroid belt, and he imagined that it got unbelievably fine resolution of exoplanets.

HIRSHON:

He says the confabulated physics stories are already stimulating discussion and debate. Watch for their follow-up issue in December 2116 that will grade these stories on their accuracy. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

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Story by Bob Hirshon