Analogies in Physics and Life: A Scientific Autobiography by Richard M. Weiner

By Richard M. Weiner

Analogies play a basic position in technology. to appreciate how and why, at a given second, a undeniable analogy was once used, one has to grasp the explicit, old situations lower than which the hot inspiration was once constructed. This ancient historical past isn't provided in medical articles and rather not often in books. For the overall reader, the undergraduate or graduate pupil who learns the topic for the 1st time, but additionally for the practitioner who seems for idea or who desires to comprehend what his colleague operating in one other box does, those historic situations could be interesting and necessary. This ebook discusses a chain of analogy results in subatomic physics, the prediction and concept of which the writer has contributed to within the final 50 years. those phenomena are awarded at a degree available to the non-specialist, with out formulae yet with emphasis at the own and ancient heritage: memoirs of conferences, discussions and correspondence with collaborators and associates. As such, along with its clinical features, the publication constitutes an soaking up witness account of a holocaust survivor who to that end illegally crossed the Iron Curtain to flee communist persecution.

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Housing, too, was in the USSR a severe problem. Moreover, the standard of Soviet flats or houses was apparently so low that a bathroom was considered a capitalistic privilege which a Soviet citizen could do without, and some of the newcomers had to learn how to use water closets. These aspects of life became, however, secondary, due to other, more dramatic events. In May–June 1941 the Soviets deported all citizen who had passports with the index “39” to Siberia. In the Soviet Union “passports” were not travel documents, as in most other countries, but just identity documents.

In the small pension where we lived there was a radio set in the sitting room, where guests used to gather. One evening, it was on the famous August 6, 1945, the broadcast was interrupted and the speaker announced that the US Air force had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. There were not many people in the room who understood what this meant, but everybody was shocked. My father explained to me that this had to do with the relation between mass and energy of Einstein. This impressed me very much, and since I could not follow the details of this explanation, it remained recorded in my mind as one of the (many) things I would like to understand in my future studies.

I disliked physics in school, among other things because the experiments performed in the lyceum were very rudimentary and also because the teacher presented them very dryly. For the same reason I disliked chemistry (taught by the same teacher), but also because you had to learn many formulae by heart. This learning by heart was one of the most unpleasant duties of my school years. That is why I also never considered studying medicine, although the subject itself attracted me. My interest in philosophy arose due to my father’s lesson on pantheism, the meaning of which I interpreted as nature governing itself by its own laws and that to understand these laws you have to study sciences of nature.

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