The world of physics in 2017

“They say that these elections were an expression of protest against the political establishment. However, this does not necessitate the denial of proven facts.” So says rush Holt (Rush Holt), CEO of the American Association for the advancement of science, in a bright editorial of the journal Science. Holt, a physicist, a Democrat, 16 years in the House of representatives, was one of many voices speaking in defense of the values and the integrity of science after Donald trump was elected President of the United States.

The closer the new year comes a hectic time in the American physical community due to the fact that trump leads to the power of skeptics on climate change, refuses rules for the protection of the environment, carefully designed by the Obama administration, and arranges for testing officials at the Department of energy in connection with their role in the negotiations on climate change. It is not only that the funding of science to trump is not a priority, it seems like he tends to ignore scientific evidence when making policy decisions.

There is not too favorable characteristics. Trump has put forward the candidacy of Scott Pruitt (Scott Pruitt), attorney General of Oklahoma, claiming that scientists differ in opinion on global warming, to head the Agency for environmental protection, strengthening fears that Pruitt may be in favor toplivoprovoda industry, the price for this purpose will be the state of the planet in the long run. The candidacy of the former Governor of Texas, Rick Perry (Rick Perry) was offered in place of physics Manisa Ernest (Ernest Moniz), who heads the Ministry of energy, organization, as once Perry said to be “abolished”.

According to some reports, there is a possibility that a representative Republican and a skeptic with regard to the protection of the environment Thomas Massey (Thomas Massie) is the main candidate for the key post of adviser to the President on science. This post is in the last eight years of the Obama administration held a respected physicist John Holdren (John Holdren). The scientific community admires his recommendations to government officials on how to avoid intervention of politicians in the development of policy in matters of science.

The concern is that one adviser trump, James Carafano (James Carafano) of the Heritage Foundation called for a reduction in the Bureau’s definition of science and technology policy, headed by the presidential adviser on scientific issues. Argument, Carafano is that trump has other advisers in this area, but who they are remains unclear. In fact, in the team of the transition period there is virtually no one who is familiar with the scientific community and with whom scientists could discuss their concerns and seek advice.
The share of us scientific communities under the leadership of the American Association for the advancement of science and the American physical society will have the need to liaise with the team of trump and to ensure the preservation of stability in science. However, they will have to work hard, and ahead of the time of troubles.

Ahead of the turmoil

In Europe the life of a physicist is not simple. A referendum on Britain leaving the EU is a threat for EU funding of British physicists and questioned the status of scientists in the UK and British physicists working in the EU institutions. It is therefore extremely important that the British physics community advocated that the UK remained part of the program of development of science of the EU (and also participated in the program of free movement) and got in this question support of the European colleagues.

Physics is an international discipline that operates best under free movement of people from country to country and is subject to availability of exchange of skills and experience. However, the growth of anti-immigration sentiment across Europe, which found ultimate expression in the outcome of the referendum Brakcet, can lead to the instability of the situation also and scientists, especially if we take into account the upcoming 2017 elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands. All the attention will focus on whether Angela Merkel (physicist, defected to the policy), consistently supported science in the past 12 years, the post of Chancellor for a fourth term.

Next year may cause excitement and in South America. Argentine scientists actively spoke out against budget cuts President Mauricio Macri (Mauricio Macri). Particularly strong may suffer the national Council for scientific and technological research, where the number receiving support scientists in the following year will be reduced to 385, compared to 900 last year. Meanwhile, Brazil plans to become a member of the laboratory of nuclear physics CERN can go to dust if she does not pay the Geneva organization a debt of 1.1 million euros.

The country in which we can predict a stable development of physics, is China, which is already printed about one fifth of all research in the world and where built many advanced scientific complexes. In addition to the completion of a new neutron generator China Spallation Neutron Source in 2017 China’s first launch to the moon a return device. China is also going to launch a satellite to monitor the amount produced by a country greenhouse gas. TanSat (Tan means in Chinese “coal”) was developed in order to obtain more data than it allows similar existing satellites (Japanese GOSAT and OCO American). Following the publication Physics World, we are preparing another special report (the third) of China in July of the following year.


In astrophysics and cosmology we can see more amazing discoveries of the joint project LIGO, which not only won the title of breakthrough 2016 Physics World for the world’s first discovery of gravitational waves, but they recently second time have launched their dual detectors. Livingstone detector by 25% improved the sensitivity and now be able to capture the merging of black holes at the longer distances. Hanfords sensitivity of the detector remains almost at the level of the first run, however, the laser power was extended, and the detector became more stable, which increased the duration of its operation.

At CERN particle physics working with the Large hadron Collider (LHC) are celebrating the successful work in 2016, after analyzing more than 6.5 × 1015 proton-proton collisions with energies of 13 TeV, that is more than in all three previous starts. They also reached a higher light output, which was usually 30% higher than planned, and recently completed a series of collisions of protons and lead ions. The TANK is currently closed for annual maintenance, but will resume proton collision in March. Whether we learn something in addition to the standard model of particle physics, is unclear.

As for other developments, the ambitious European project Extreme Light Infrastructure based on the four points of the continent, will complete the construction of the complex nuclear physics in Romania, which promises to be the world’s most powerful laser. The European space Agency plans to launch its own satellite-hunter planet CHEOPS in December. At the same time, the space, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft that was in orbit of Saturn since 2004, will be decommissioned, lost in the planet’s atmosphere on September 15. We hope that this event will not have any wider symbolic meaning.

The Eclipse Trump?

There is, however, one event in 2017, which will please physicists in the United States. This is a full solar Eclipse, which will occur on Monday August 21. It can be seen from Oregon in the West, in Kansas and Nashville to South Carolina in the East. This amazing astronomical phenomenon was called the “Great American Eclipse”, entirely because it will be able to observe only one country (USA). The Eclipse will be the first that will go through most of the U.S., since 1979, in connection with which the country plans to hold a series of events. Of course, the wonders of the Eclipse will be the best way to explain to Trump the vital importance of science.