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Popular Science announces Third Annual 'Brilliant 10'

reframe the debate about global warming and the speed at which it can happen. He spends two months a year in Antarctica, using high-resolution GPS receivers to measure ice-flow rates and collecting humidity and wind records. The data is fodder for numerical models he uses to interpret past climate changes and predict future ones. His research reveals an Earth where ice sheets can melt more--raising sea levels faster--than anyone previously imagined.

  • Brian Enquist, 35, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ) for his work in the field of evolutionary ecology. Brian Enquist talks about the natural world as if it were a wind-up clock: "If you take it apart, it's very complex, but there are some very simple principles that make it work." And like a master watchmaker, he is looking for a set of universal laws that describe the rhythms of plant and animal life. The principles that he and his colleagues are discovering appear to reveal deep biological truths about everything from the way cells consume nutrients to the growth rates of trees to how deforestation could affect global levels of carbon dioxide.

  • Claire Gmachl, 37, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ) for her work in the field of laser physics. Once perfected, Gmachl's tiny, ingenious devices--quantum-cascade lasers--could serve as an early-warning system for terrorism. By designing lasers that emit multiple frequencies, Gmachl made it possible for a single instrument to detect many different chemicals. Shine one of her lasers across a highway to a sensor on the other side, and you could create a detection system for noxious car emissions; installed in an airport walkway, such a laser could sense trace amounts of explosives.

  • Henrik Jensen, 34, University of California, San Diego for his work in the field of computer graphics. Surfaces don't just reflect light, Henrik Jensen realized, they absorb it, and by looking closely at materials--be it a glass of milk
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  • Contact: Hallie Deaktor
    hallie.deaktor@time4.com
    212-779-5172
    Popular Science
    16-Sep-2004


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