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In 1959, renowned novelist and physical chemist C.P. Snow delivered a lecture titled “The Two Cultures,” in which he highlights the widening rift between the sciences and the humanities (including art). Though often interpreted as a purely ad hominem attack on humanists and British elites, I believe Snow is arguing that balancing and blending knowledge of these two seemingly disparate realms is critical to understanding and improving the world.
Recent natural disasters in Texas, Mexico, and Puerto Rico have inspired a tremendous wave of campus activism. Various initiatives led either fully or in part by Princeton students have already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in the wake of several earthquakes and hurricanes that have torn a path of destruction through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
Bill Bradley ’65 is a former University basketball star, Olympic gold medalist, Rhodes Scholar, U.S. Senator for New Jersey, and Democratic presidential candidate. The ‘Prince’ sat down to interview Bradley while he was on campus for an event to celebrate a second large donation of Bradley's own documents to the University.
Established in 2000 by a gift from University Charter Trustee Lloyd Costen ’50, the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts supports a class of several scholars for a period of three years, providing them with financial and intellectual support. The Society, which has been directed for the last eight years by English professor Susan Stewart, will continue next year under the directorship of history professor Michael Gordin, according to a University press release.
One of the greatest remaining mysteries of the universe is the nature of so-called “dark matter.” First proposed by Lord Kelvin and Henri Poincaré in the early 20th century, dark matter, which is thought to account for nearly 85 percent of matter in the universe, has defied understanding ever since.
This week’s meeting of the Undergraduate Student Government
featured debate on a wide range of amendments, as USG worked to wrap up new
business for the spring.
After anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and racist flyers were found posted around campus last week, Princeton Advocates for Justice and a coalition of graduate students held a Rally for a Hate-Free Princeton today in protest.
“There is a doctor who argues that women’s ovaries, and their teeth and skin, will dry out if their ovaries are not regularly bathed in male semen,” Rebecca Traister said in the face of nervous chuckles from the audience. She let slip that this was only a joke, and the crowd howled with laughter.
“There is, in short, a shared longing for belonging… a shared longing, in other words, for justice,” according to Canadian Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella.
The evaluation of factual information is not only a qualitative exercise, but it is also a crucially qualitative judgement of both the information and its source, according to New Yorker staff writer Nicholas Schmidle.
Though we may never see fusion in a device small enough to power a car, we are closer than ever to sustainable fusion power due to innovative design.
The Institute for Advanced Study and the Civil War Trust have reached an agreement to expand the Princeton Battlefield State Park, according to a press release jointly issued by the Institute and the Trust at 3 p.m. on Dec. 12.
Most partygoers wouldn’t think to call Department of Public Safety and file a noise complaint for the party they are currently attending. For a group of University students at the 2 Dickinson St. Co-op, however, that was exactly the right idea.
In an email sent to the undergraduate student body on Monday
afternoon, University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 said that though the
University is committed to protecting undocumented students, the concept of a
Sanctuary Campus is legally unfounded.
World-renowned theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson shared a lifetime’s worth of wisdom about the future while dining with 30 members of Princeton Envision.
On Oct. 20, Green Princeton hosted a Do-It-Yourself costume-making event at 99 Alexander Street. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., students were invited to bring clothes and other supplies to trade and fabricate into costumes for Princetoween. The event was advertised as an “upcycle” event, where students could turn old clothes into new and creative costumes.
The third presidential debate of the 2016 election season took place on Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News, this debate returned to the format of the first general election debate of the season, with a 90-minute program divided into sections that represented a wide spread of political issues.Much of the debate saw the two candidates standing by positions they have previously taken during the campaign, as well as attacking their opponents for previous scandals. Some questions, however, provoked newly worded responses.For example, when asked about his purported support for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, Trump said that he thought his promised appointment of pro-life Supreme Court justices would cause this to “happen automatically.” Clinton was then forced to defend her vote against a ban on late-term partial-birth abortions, claiming that she did not believe these regulations had taken the health of mothers into account. Trump responded that this was “terrible,” insisting that this would allow doctors to “rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month.”Trump also once again refused to say that he would accept the results of the election, saying instead “I will look at it at the time.” He then pivoted to criticize the media, insisting that they had “poisoned the minds of the voters.”Clinton responded indignantly to this, calling this statement “horrifying,” and praising the United States for having “accepted the [election] outcomes when we may not have liked them.” She further leveled criticism against Trump for his statement, accusing him of “denigrating” and “talking down our democracy.”Speaking on immigration, Trump noted that “we have some bad hombres here,” in reference to undocumented immigrants. Clinton reiterated her previous stance on immigration reform coupled with border security.After exchanging fire over foreign policy, including issues surrounding Russia and Putin, the two candidates were offered an opportunity to make closing statements.Clinton spoke first, emphasizing that she was “reaching out to all Americans” in order to “make our country what it should be.”Trump used his closing statement to attack Clinton for donations from the wealthy and influential. He warned the audience, claiming “We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama. And that's what you get when you get her.”With the debates over, less than a month remains before the general election on Nov. 8.
Astrophysics professor Stewart Prager stepped down as director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory on Sept. 26th, just before news broke of a malfunction at the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade fusion experimental facility.Sources are conflicted over the connection between Prager’s resignation and the malfunction. Nonetheless, the resulting maintenance will likely pose a significant setback not only to PPPL, but also to the international fusion community as a whole.News of the malfunction appeared a day after Prager announced his decision to step down as PPPL director, raising questions regarding the impact that this incident had on his decision.Physics Today reported that two sources, both of whom declined to be identified, claimed Prager was asked to step down by the Department of Energy. One source reportedly said “This was a firing as much as anything else.” Prager, however, denied that he was fired, telling Physics Today, “I never spoke to the Office of Science,” and added that he had been considering stepping down since January.Prager will remain as an astrophysics professor at the University, though he will be on a leave for a year.In PPPL’s press release, Prager addressed the situation’s impact on his decision.“The recent technical setback in the NSTX-U facility unexpectedly and suddenly defines a moment that seems to me appropriate for that transition,” Prager said in the press release. "It is best for new, continuing leadership to shepherd the rebuilding of the facility and the engineering changes that will be needed over the next year.”The recent shutdown of the NSTX-U occurred in July, when one of the reactor’s 14 magnets shorted out, according to information obtained by Physics Today from Michael Zarnstorff, the PPPL deputy director for research.Further inspection of the machine revealed that another, identical coil on the opposite end of the machine would also need to be replaced before operations could continue. Furthermore, according to Physics Today, another issue with a copper cooling tube was discovered while disassembling the machine.The entire repair process could take up to one year, which is more than double the scheduled six-month maintenance period for which the project was nearly due.When asked to comment, PPPL released a statement to the ‘Prince’, confirming in an email that research that was expected to start in 2017 “will be delayed by 6 or more months.”Given how much time will be lost during repairs, some researchers wondered if these problems might have been precluded during design or fabrication.“The shutdown is a loss of experimental time that is significant,” Prager wrote in an email. He wrote that though acquiring experimental results is delayed for roughly a year, planned research projects “will move forward but with that delay.”Prager wrote in an emailed statement to the Daily Princetonian that the loss of experimental time “is a significant opportunity cost.” He said that though replacing the failed components “is not expected to require additional funds…. funds that would have been used for experimental operations will now be used for the repairs.”According to Physics Today, Zarnstorff said that using copper for some parts was “an unwise choice,” and that they should have instead used stainless steel.Additionally, Nature quoted a former Princeton researcher who said that the copper used may have been stronger than necessary, which might have caused problems during manufacturing.“The failures were preventable and reflect insufficient rigor in the design process,” Prager wrote. He also wrote that the repairs require “substantial disassembly” and time.According to the PPPL website, research on magnetic fusion began at Princeton in 1951 under the code name Project Matterhorn. Since then, Princeton has been at the forefront of plasma physics research, including the record-breaking Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor , which operated from 1982 to 1997.More recently, researchers have been studying plasma physics at the National Spherical Torus Experiment, which began operation in 1999. This approach proved successful enough that the Department of Energy in 2011 called for a $94 million upgrade of the facilities to equip them for future fusion research. This project, designated the NSTX-U, was completed in 2015, and began operating in December of that year, according to Physics Today.Like its predecessors, NSTX-U uses strong magnetic fields to concentrate hydrogen plasma, which will fuse into helium given sufficient heat and pressure. This fusion releases massive amounts of energy, which could potentially serve as an alternative to other forms of power generation in the future. Public servants and figures such as Norman Augustine ’57 GS ’59 have long spoken of the benefits of fusion, which in theory could provide clean, CO2 emission free energy.The greatest challenges in fusion often have to do with the sheer amount of energy required to start and maintain a fusion reaction, which is often just as great as the heat generated by fusion. Other challenges arise from the way the plasma is contained and concentrated, which is essential not only to safety, but also to the creation of conditions that allow for fusion to occur. This second aspect is what sets the NSTX-U apart.The NSTX-U instead produces plasma in the shape of a sphere with a hole through the center, which, according to the PPPL, allows for the confinement of a higher plasma pressure per unit of magnetic field strength. In other words, this change in shape could allow reactors to operate more efficiently and economically.According to the PPPL, the recent upgrade allows the NSTX-U to test high performance plasma under extreme heat and pressure. These conditions provide valuable data on their own, and could also influence the design of future reactors.The Department of Energy and PPPL will investigate the incident over the course of repairs. A PPPL statement noted that “This is a complex device with a unique design and significant engineering challenges, so there is risk of failure.”He also noted that “We have a goal to keep the repair costs within the current funding for NSTX-U. This will minimize the financial implications."Prager said that design changes to prevent a recurrence are “well-known and well-understood.”“There is very high confidence that such component failure will not recur,” Prager said. “In a facility as complex and one-of-a-kind as NSTX-U it is not uncommon for such component failures to occur, particularly at the onset of operations of a new facility. However, the consequence of the failures in NSTX-U is highly consequential because the components are situated in the facility in a highly inaccessible location.”Media representatives at the Department of Energy did not respond to a request for comment.
PHILADELPHIA- Speaking on behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had just become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, her husband and former President Bill Clinton called on the Democratic Party to unite and made a unique appeal for their nominee last Tuesday at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Introduced by her daughter Chelsea, Clinton took to the stage with applause and cheering from the audience. After waiting for the crowd to quiet down, Clinton proceeded to thank many of those who had spoken before her, including her daughter Chelsea Clinton, husband and former President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama '85, Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic Nominee for Vice President Tim Kaine.