Tuesday, May 29, 2001- The Michigan Daily - 3
What does physics have to do with
t? Everything, as shown by a recent
llaboration between physicists and
:hool of Art and Design professionals.
The works produced, ranging from
intings to panels and woven pieces,
tre commissioned for the "Spacetime
rt" exhibit, held in conjunction with
st week's "Space Odyssey: 2001"
augural conference for the Michigan
0 er for Theoretical Physics.
e collaboration showed the ways
tists and scientists work together to
lve universal problems. For theoretical
ysicists, art provides a natural outlet
r the expression of scientific ideas.
ysicists ponder abstract questions
garding subjects such as the "big
tog" to black holes.
"It's kind of exciting that the art
Sool was enthusiastic about having
collaboration, and it worked out
autifully because the people involved
e among the top quality artists and
me of the best physicists," said Uni-
rsity physics professor Gordon Kane.
[he project was a gamble when we
arted, but it worked," he added.
The Space Odyssey: 2001 inaugural
>nference brought together
tronomers, cosmologists, particle
hysicists and mathematicians to discuss
ese issues about space in the 21st cen-
1 Featured speakers included Prof.
lartinus Veltman, a Nobel Prize recipi-
t, along with many other physicists
om national and international realms.
The first step in the collaborative
rocess began in March when members
f the physics and mathematics depart-
tents met with artists to explain their
rrent research projects and interests.
"It was interesting to hear the physi-
W describe what they do and to later
ik to them. They function as creative
eople in much the same way we artists
o," said exhibit coordinator Sherri
smith, an art professor.
Established only a year ago, the
ICTP is in the process of building a rep-
tation through a commitment to public
ectures and other outreach activities.
"The purpose of the inaugural confer-
nee was to make the center more wide-
y known to the scientific community,
I this is the first event of what will be
10y to take place in the future," said
ACTP Director Michael Duff.
Duff added it seeks to include mem-
ers not only from the physics depart-
oent, but also from other departments
uch as biology, chemistry, computer
cience, engineering and the medical
ciences by taking an interdisciplinary
im. The center provides research
ortunities for both graduate and
"What was special about this meeting
s the caliber of the scientists who ...
ame from all over the world to celebrate
or rO on of this new iterdicip
enter of theoretical physics," he added.
Gas prices expected to drop
throughout coming months
By Elliott Wells-Reid
tsr the Doily
Despite rising gas prices during the unofficial
start of the summer travel season, nearly 2.2 mil-
lion Michiganders planned to travel over Memor-
ial Day weekend, up 20 percent from last year,
according to estimates by the American Automo-
According to Jim Rink, spokesman for AAA
of Michigan, high gas prices caused nearly half
of all motorists to rethink travel destinations but
not cancel plans. "(Michigan residents) will still
travel, just fewer miles," he said.
Last Friday, a gallon of self-serve regular
gasoline in Michigan averaged $1.85, the sixth
highest in the nation, according to AAA.
Around Ann Arbor, gas averaged $1.86, up
nine cents from a month ago and 42 cents from
two months ago.
Although some areas of the state saw $1.95 for
gas on Friday and metro Detroit prices hit the $2
mark during the holiday weekend, Jacob Bour-
nazian, economist with the Department of Ener-
gy, expects prices to fall off again.
"Absent any supply disruptions, we expect
prices in July to be lower than those in June, and
August to be lower than July," he said.
Part of the increase is due to reformulated
gasoline used in the summer. In the summer
months, refineries change their fuel mixture so
the gas is less likely to evaporate toxins into the
air, said Jeff Gearhart of the Environmental Pro-
Karen Kendrick-Hands, air policy director for
East Michigan Environmental Action Council,
said calling the gas reformulated is "just an
excuse to pick our pockets. It costs refineries 2
cents more per gallon, but they tell consumers it
costs between 5 and 7 cents."
Overall, 47 percent of those surveyed in
Michigan said they planned summer trips, up
six percentage points from last year. Of those
who travel, 61 percent plan to spend their
vacation dollars in Michigan.
Rink said the five most popular destinations
for in-state travelers are Mackinaw City, Traverse
City, Sault Ste. Marie, Detroit and St. Ignace.
Travelers leaviing Michigan prefer Niagara Falls,
Chicago, Toronto, Washington D.C., and Sea
World of Ohio.
Seven percent of travelers said they would
"(Michigan residents) will still
travel, just fewer miles."
- Jim Rink
travel by air this summer, up two percentage
points from last summer.
Renee Jordan, University administrative asso-
ciate with transportation services, estimates fuel
costs for the University have increased 30 per-
"The departments (with vehicles) have felt the
increase," she said.
To save money amid rising costs, the Universi-
ty bids out gas purchases among six companies.
The University bids every time the tanks are
refilled, about once per week during the fall and
Currently, the University pays $1.26 for a gal-
lon of regular gas. Last year, the University used
400,000 gallons of unleaded fuel for its fleet.
To reduce pollution, the University has retro-
fitted all its diesel vehicles so they can operate on
the biodiesel, which is more costly than regular
"We've switched our diesel vehicles to
biodiesel, B-20. It contains twenty percent bio-
logical materials, like soy, for lower emissions,"
Last year, the University used 160,000 gallons
of conventional diesel and 120,000 gallons of the
For its unleaded fleet, the University now tries
to buy vehicles that run on ethanol. Jordan said
most manufacturers do not tout their vehicles'
ethanol capabilities, as the fuel costs twenty cents
more per gallon than traditional fuel.
Rink suggested students use ride boards avail-
able on campus and carpool to save money on
fuel. A ride board is available in the ground floor
of the Michigan Union across from Mrs. Field's
Consumers can track gas prices at AAA of
Michigan's website www.aaamich.com or by
using a wwwgaspricewatch.com, a website that
recruits spotters to report gas prices.
Around the nation Thursday, gas prices aver-
aged $1.70. Californians paid the most for gas,
an average of $2.02, while Georgians paid the
Gasoline prices at the BP service station on Washtenaw Ave.
near the two dollar range.
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