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Physical sciences/Physics/Mathematical physics/Statistical physics/Statistical mechanics

The American public likes scientists almost as much as it likes firefighters and teachers. And, economists say that investments in basic research have offered tremendous returns over the past 50 years. Why, then, do researchers in the United States find themselves on the precipice of a devastating financial cliff, facing $54 billion in across-the-board funding cuts by 1 March unless the U.S. Congress can agree on a budget fix?