Session Q5: The Physics of Confronting Weapons of Mass Destruction: Chemical, Biological and Nuclear

11:15 AM–2:15 PM, Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Room: Ballroom C1

Sponsoring Unit: FIAP
Chair: Jay Davis, Hertz Foundation

Abstract ID: BAPS.2011.MAR.Q5.4

Abstract: Q5.00004 : Physics and National Security: The Spectrum of Opportunities

1:03 PM–1:39 PM

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  Jay Davis
    (The Hertz Foundation)

Physicists reflexively tend to approach their role in addressing national security problems by reaching for technologies and inventing devices or systems. While this is appropriate, the space for contribution is much larger. The application of technology is frequently constrained by doctrinal, operational, financial, and logistic constraints, not to mention those of security. The speaker, who has played a role in technology development, field operations, advisory processes, and policy considerations will discuss the role physicists can have in definition of the threat space, creation and assessment of technologies needed, and helping with response and recovery. In particular, he will address the opportunities and risks for both academic and industrial physicists in trying to assist in these matters, i.e., when in career to address such problems, what are the obstacles or consequences, and when do you know you have contributed?

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