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April 01, 2004 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

news@michigandaily.com

NEWS

NOBEL IDEA

Woman harassed
by ex-boyfriend at
Shapiro Library
A caller reported to the Department
of Public Safety that her ex-boyfriend
was harassing her early yesterday
morning. The incident took place at the
Shapiro Undergraduate Library. A
police report was filed after a DPS
officer met with the caller. DPS is cur-
rently investigating the case.
Criminal sexual
assault victims
arrive in hospital
DPS reports show that on Sunday
night, University Hospital security
reported that two victims of criminal
sexual conduct were in the hospital
emergency room. One victim was from
Ann Arbor, though the victim was not
a student at the University. The other
victim was from Romulus. The Ann
Arbor Police Department and the
Romulus Police Department were noti-
fied of the respective cases.
Suspected
marijuana users
found in car lot
Multiple people were found in viola-
tion of controlled substances laws in a
parking lot on Stadium Boulevard,
according to DPS crime reports from
Sunday afternoon. The substance is sus-
pected to be marijuana. The people were
released after DPS confiscated the sub-
stance. DPS is currently waiting for test
results from the state police laboratory
identifying the substance.
Pipe bursts, causes
flood in Big House
DPS crime reports from Monday
show that flood damage was reported
at Michigan Stadium. The flood was
caused by a pipe bursting. There is
currently no estimation of the value
of property damage caused by the
flooding.
Television stolen
from parked vehicle
DPS crime reports show that a tele-
vision was stolen from a vehicle while
parked in the East Medical Center
parking lot early Monday afternoon.
The value of the stolen television is
about $250. The vehicle owner sus-
pects the car was left unlocked. No
damage was reported to the vehicle
and a police report was filed. There are
no suspects and the case is closed until
DPS has leads.
Dell flat-screen
monitor stolen
from 'U' Hospital
A 17-inch Dell flat-screen computer
monitor was stolen from the University
Hospital, according to DPS crime logs
from Monday. The theft occurred
between Friday and Monday. The mon-
itor was stolen from an unlocked
office. There are currently no suspects
and the case is closed until DPS
receives any leads.
Person arrested,
jailed for stealing
food in League
DPS officers arrested a person early
Sunday afternoon for stealing food
from the Michigan League. The person

was incarcerated in the Washtenaw
County Jail. The person had no affilia-
tion with the University and was later
released from jail.
Thief takes credit
cards, money from
backpack at CCRB
DPS crime logs from Monday after-
noon show that two credit cards and
money were taken from a backpack.
The theft occurred in the Central Cam-
pus Recreation Building while the
backpack was left unattended. The
credit cards were cancelled. There are
no suspects.
Police look for
East Quad student
in investigation
According to DPS crime reports from
Monday night, Housing Security in East
Quad Residence Hall requested assis-
tance from DPS after another police
department was looking for a student in
the building. The Inkster Police Depart-
ment was searching for a student in East
n A - - . ni v o;ni nt ,

TREVOR CAMPBELL/Daily
Nobel Prize winner
Robert Laughlin
lectures about
studying
emergent theory
yesterday in East
Hall. Laughlin
spoke as part of
the Fourth Annual
Ford Motor
Company
Distinguished
Lecture in
Physics.

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 3A
Environmental groups
educate students on
Earth-friendly issues

Award-winning physicist
explains revolutionary idea

By Mona Rafeeq
Daily Staff Reporter
In preparation for April's national observance of
Earth Month, campus and city groups took to the
Diag yesterday to educate passing students about
environmental issues.
Some of the groups passed out tip sheets and
guides on how to conserve energy during "Earth
Day on the Diag," while others had more specific
issues to address.
The student group Transformers had a table on
ecological "footprints," which measure how much
land, water and energy are used to produce a per-
son's daily consumption. This measurement is then
converted into a geographic area distribution,
telling a person how much physical land their con-
sumption takes up.
"Consumption is very extensive. It includes the
food that we eat and how much land it takes to

By Jonathan Cohen
For the Daily
Puzzled and captivated faces were scattered
throughout the lecture hall last night. No, it was-
n't an organic chemistry lecture, but rather a
Nobel prize-winning professor explaining his
radical concept, breaking the scientific norm.
Stanford University physics Prof. Robert
Laughlin lectured to a packed room in East Hall
during the Fourth Annual Ford Motor Company
Distinguished Lecture in Physics.
Laughlin is currently a physics Nobel laureate,
which is an honor bestowed upon the top experts
in the world for certain academic fields. Last year
only three scientists were named Nobel laureates
for physics.
In 1998, Laughlin shared the Nobel Prize with
two colleagues for his work on high-temperature
superconductivity. He has since moved his
research to a new subject, collective matter.
The lecture hall was mostly filled with students
and members of the physics department, along
with people from other natural science depart-
ments and retired Ford employees.
In his talk "The Emergent Age," Laughlin said
he believes there is much more to physics than 1
most scientists realize. Scientists have been
focusing too much on studying individual parti-
cles, when in fact larger bodies can better explain
physical laws, he said.
"The task that all of us have as scientists to
expand the frontier has just begun. ... We
misidentify where this frontier is," he said.1
During the talk Laughlin discussed emergent
theory, which he said is based on the idea that the
physical properties of a complex body emerge7
from the organization of the body's many parti-
cles, rather than by the characteristics of the indi-
vidual particles.
For example, he said the rigidity of a pen is
determined by the organization of all its atoms,
instead of by the structure of each of the atoms.

Laughlin's explained why emergent theory
should preside over the more common reduction-
ist view, which holds that understanding a com-
plex body requires examining its individual
ingredients. According to emergent theory, parti-
cles of matter acting together can generate physi-
cal laws spontaneously.
Some members of the audience contested
Laughlin's idea of emergence as the new founda-
tion of physics. "Most of us are not used to think-
ing about the universe in this way," said Mira
Franke, an applied physics doctoral student.
Some people in the audience said they believe
Laughlin's concept of emergence is valid, while
others remained skeptical.
"I find this approach difficult to accept. Howev-
er, I intend to look into it further. My perception of
the universe is very different (from Laughlin's). I
think in terms of the particle content of the uni-
verse," Physics Prof. Katherine Freese said.
Laughlin, a condensed matter theorist, received
many questions at the end of his lecture. The
audience probed his theory further, trying to gain
the maximum amount of information from the
groundbreaking professor.
Physics graduate student David Oros said he
believed Laughlin's theory is radical. "The goal
of science has historically been to reduce every-
thing to its simplest components. What he is sug-
gesting is something that you cannot prove.
There's no experiment that can prove the emer-
gence theory," Oros said.
While there may be no practical application to
his theory, Laughlin said his theory will revolution-
ize many laws of physics. "Physics deals with the
emergence theory. Scientists discover laws. They do
not build things. Engineers do that,"he said.
Corrections:
Please report any errors in the Daily to cor-
rections@michigandaily.com

grow the food, the type of mate-
rials our houses are built out of "f every
and how much energy is needed every
for lighting and heating and the Earth had
modes of the transportation that,
we use," said Rackham student the sZm o
Kathleen Mogelgaard, a member average P
of Transformers.
She said Americans consume eCOlOg1Ca
a large amount of energy com- we woul
pared to most developed and
developing nations. "If every and a hal
person on Earth had a footprint r
the size of the average Ameri-
can's ecological footprint, we
would need four and a half - Kat
planet Earths," she said.
The Transformers also passed
out fluorescent light bulbs, which use less energy,
meaning a power plant can burn less coal than it
would burn for a regular bulb. Although they are
more energy efficient, these bulbs, at $7, cost more
than normal light bulbs. Transformers started with
80 free bulbs at 10 p.m., and by the time Earth Day
on the.Diag ended at 4 p.m., all of them had been
given away. Students could sign up on a list to
receive more fluorescent light bulbs.
Other groups decided to use their tabling time on
the Diag to advocate specific issues with handouts
and fliers.
Environmental Justice Group members asked
students to fill out surveys as part of its campaign
to have Fair Trade Coffee offered in the residence
dining halls.
RC freshman Jen Herard said regular coffee sells
at 40 cents a pound but not all profits go directly to
farmers. Sales of Fair Trade Coffee, which is valued
at $1.26 per pound, would allow farmers to meet

If
1
)f I
Il
f
hle
R

their basic necessities while also being able to send
their children to school, she said. The price of Fair
Trade Coffee is higher than regular coffee because
it has to meet strict international standards to pro-
vide assistance to farmers.
"Students drink a lot of coffee so if they
change their purchasing habits, coffee vendors
will see that there is a market for Fair Trade Cof-
fee," Herard said.
She said Environmental Justice is also trying to
push Starbucks Coffee Co. to sell Fair Trade Cof-
fee more regularly in its Ann Arbor shops. "Star-
bucks is supposed to have Fair Trade Coffee but
they don't always do, so if customers go in and
ask for it specifically, they have to brew a whole
pot," Herard said.
Students for Public Interest Research Group in
Michigan also took advantage of Earth Day on the
Diag to petition for the reduction of mercury emis-
sions from power plants.
Signatures collected on post-
cards will go to the Environ-
iSOfl Ofl mental Protection Agency.
a footprint Mercury, a highly toxic
he chemical, is emitted from
the power plants and then enters
nerijea the ocean. Humans can ingest
this hazardous chemical by
fOOtprint, eating contaminated fish.
need four "Two years ago, the EPA
said they could reduce mercury
planet emissions by 90 percent but
then they didn't do anything
about it," LSA junior Liz Bris-
son said. "We're trying to
een Mogelgaard change that."
ackham student She added that the EPA has
a court-ordered deadline of
Dec. 15 to issue rules about a reduction in mercu-
ry emissions.
According to LSA junior Carolyn Hwang, mer-
cury can create health problems comparable to
the effects of lead poisoning. "Mercury emissions
are especially a problem for pregnant women.
Unsafe levels can cause neurological damage to
fetuses," she said.
Students for PIRGIM and other environmental
groups want EPA officials to reduce mercury emis-
sions by 90 percent by the year 2008.
"Earth Week at the University" will continue
throughout the weekend. Today, Martha Marks,
founder of Republicans for Environmental Protec-
tion, and Joe Schwarz, Republican candidate for the
seventh congressional district of Michigan, will
speak on the topic "Conservation is Bipartisan" in
room 1040 of the Dana building at 7 p.m.
Students for PIRGIM and Project SERVE will
sponsor a day of environmental service on Saturday.

1 1. U

the daily
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