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Home > News > Trend-spotting: Physics in 1931 and today

June 2nd, 2006

Trend-spotting: Physics in 1931 and today

A physicist who turns 100 this year would have been working on his doctoral thesis in 1931, the year the American Institute of Physics was founded. The student would have been surveying physics and its allied sciences to spot some promising area on which to stake a career. What would the 25-year-old have seen in 1931? And how did the apparently promising areas play out over the next three-quarters of a century? How does the 1931 landscape compare with what a physics student sees today? What important things would the 1931 student have failed to see? What can we learn from these questions as we look over our field today?


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