I forgot about you, Uncle Bob. You
In case you didn't realize, April Fools. It's not April 1st here, of course, but you would be confused if I sent you a long fools message in a time that didn't match up with your April Fools' Day. I hope you were entertained, and I hope we can now get back to the very serious business now at hand.
Brian Kazminski sounds like the best lead we have so far. Patrick, I got the scanned-in paper that you sent me. It is incredibly confusing. I can see that physicists wrote just as badly back in 2002 as they do now in 2082. Also, most of the paper is flat wrong.
Here's what I can interpret from it. Kazminski works with beams of particles, mostly electrons and photons. It sounds complicated, but that basically means he plays with electricity and light. One of the biggest problems (in your day) with such beams was dispersion. Imagine shining a flashlight in a straight line - the beam will spread out as it travels. If you look at it 100 meters away, it will be diffuse and look dimmer.
What I grasp of what Kazminski is doing is like this: imagine that you were asked to use a flashlight to hit a bullseye in a target a mile away. You wouldn't be able to do it. Kazminski is trying to figure out how, but the way he's doing it is even more amazing: he's trying to do it without any outside influence. He wants to control a light beam using only the beam itself.
As for why he would do this, I have no idea. Have you run across any physics projects that would require very tight control of light beams?
I'll have to ask Meaghan that last question. I don't remember anything; do you?
In one sense, the light focusing problem is easily dealt with by contemporary laser technology. We've been doing that for 40 years, and in the realm of information storage, retrieval and transmission, it's the basis of everything from fiber optics to CDs and DVDs.
I take it this is different from lasers, which use specialized devices to focus light and keep it from diffusing the way it normally does in the atmosphere. And it may not make sense, or even work. (I can't figure out how it would, but then again, I'm no physicist.) But failed experiments have the potential to cause damage as well. Ir's possible that Kazminski's work launched a failed experiment that in turn launched a terrible disaster years down the road...so maybe it'll provide some leads to undoing or at least stopping the damage.
Let's hope so.
One other way is glass fiber. It keeps the light contained. But it sounds more like he is trying to add a "sticky" component to photons. I think using electrons is out of the question since they have a charge. You can focus them using magnetic fields, but I don't see how their own field could be used.
There was a question about the apparent age of the hydrogen as compared to the sun, which never got answered. Is there any progress here?