As senior physics faculty at the University of Maryland in College Park, we were very happy to see the Nov. 27 Metro article "Science grows on schools," about how investments in fundamental research and science education happen here in our community. Investing in fundamental research and science education constitutes an investment in the future prosperity of the nation and the people in it.
The article pointed out the important science buildings going up at regional universities. However, it missed one of the most innovative and impressive science buildings in the nation. The U-Md. Physical Sciences Complex is nationally recognized as a premier building. The 50 advanced physics labs underground focus on quantum-information and condensed-matter science and might very well result in the first real quantum computer. Aboveground research space designed to facilitate breakthroughs in science by enhancing social interactions among people in different disciplines is where ideas are born. Architecture matters, because people matter.
This is the first part of a multistage building that will employ modern infrastructure to enhance research and science, technology, engineering and math education. These are crucial to the research and education mission of all of our universities and necessary to protect our national leadership in fundamental science and technology. The article made important points right on the money. What is also true is that if we do not keep investing, we will lose our leadership to China, India, Europe and others.
Jordan Goodman, Rockville
Drew Baden, Bethesda
The writers are p rofessor s of p hysics and
former physics department chairs at the
University of Maryland .