September 2, 2001 |
At the heart of a new book lies an old question: How much light can science shed on the deepest religious mysteries? In Physics of the Soul: The Quantum Book of Living, Dying, Reincarnation and Immortality, being released this month by Hampton Road Publishing, retired University of Oregon physics professor Amit Goswami musters all sorts of scientific arguments to lay a foundation for what he calls "the new science of reincarnation. " Goswami brings a Hindu heritage to the pursuit - his father was a "family guru" in India - but he also finds truth in Buddhist text.
January 31, 2003
STUPIDITY rules! Nonsense overwhelms! Claptrap dominates! "District considers giving potassium iodide to kids," rants the Daily News on Jan. 20. The Elizabethtown school board considers giving these pills to 3,900 students in case of another emergency at Three Mile Island. These tablets block the intake of radioactivity by the thyroid gland - the organ most frequently damaged during past nuclear disasters. After more than 40 years of breaking atoms to make electricity, how many verified cases of organ damage from TMI have been reported?
February 16, 2004 |
After he revolutionized the concepts of space and time and helped usher in a new view of light and matter, Albert Einstein turned his talents to the refrigerator. "He was a real gadget enthusiast," said Gino Segre, who wrote a chapter on Einstein's refrigerator in his recent book A Matter of Degrees. The great physicist had experience with practical devices: After graduating from the University of Zurich, Einstein worked in a Swiss patent office, figuring out how various inventions worked and evaluating their worth.
January 4, 1994 |
Sporting the words "women in classically forbidden regions" across his belly on national television could be considered a questionable PR move for a president who has been the subject of recent allegations involving womanizing. But when the women venturing into those forbidden regions are physics students at Bryn Mawr College, the jersey President Clinton wore Saturday while golfing in Hilton Head, S.C., takes on a whole new meaning. Actually, two whole new meanings. Senior Tanya Ramond sent Clinton a computer message Sunday explaining the slogan on the maroon shirt, which read: "Bryn Mawr College Physics Department, 1885-1994, 109 Years of Women in Classically Forbidden Regions.
October 7, 2006 |
When Siobhan Davies wanted to create a new dance to celebrate the opening of her studios in London, she didn't collaborate just with a composer, lighting director and costume designer. She also consulted with a linguist, landscape designer, architect and heart surgeon. Davies wanted new points of view. The result, In Plain Clothes, which had its Philadelphia premiere Thursday night at the Painted Bride, is more thought-provoking than beautiful. But it is also one of the more intellectually stimulating pieces I've seen in a while.
March 12, 2005
We're often told, "There's only one way to look at it: If the bad guys have 'em, we have to have 'em, too, bigger and better. And if they get 'em, we have to get bigger ones. " Hans Bethe, one of the great physicists of the 20th century, died this week. He was one of the men whose pioneering work led to the development of the atomic bomb. But Bethe saw what he had wrought and was appalled. Not for him the arms race, the global game of chicken in which the stakes were the very future of human life on this planet.
November 17, 2005 |
LAST WEEK, the people of Dover, Pa., turned out eight of the nine members of their board of education. The race turned on the issue of teaching "intelligent design" in science classes. Now the new, pro-evolution board members need to decide what to do about the federal trial concerning the same issue that continues in nearby Harrisburg. According to a York College political science professor, "The trial had the effect of galvanizing and polarizing the community. " Well, that's exactly what evolution vs. creationism has been doing to communities and their schools since Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan squared off in Dayton, Tenn.
September 5, 2010
By Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow Bantam. 208 pp. $28 Reviewed by Fred Bortz Rarely do the title and authorship of a book carry such high expectations as The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. Hawking, a physicist who until retiring last year held Sir Isaac Newton's chair as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, startled the publishing world in 1988 with his mega-seller, A Brief History of Time . It tackled mind-bending concepts of general relativity and quantum mechanics in an engaging style that invited nonspecialists, even nonscientists, to grapple with those ideas for themselves.
June 6, 1990 |
Who needs Quantum Leap when you can catch a show tonight on Channel 12 about quantum mechanics? "Right," you say. "And afterward, I think I'll translate Kierkegaard's Afsluttende uvidenskabelig Efterskrift from the original Danish. " Now, now. You don't have to understand the quantum theory of particle movement (who does?) - you don't even have to like science - to enjoy "The Quantum Universe," a beautifully filmed, elegantly written, stimulating, and sometimes even funny installment of Smithsonian World, which will air at 10. Even the show's narrator has trouble with the topic.
September 11, 1992 |
In 1988, when Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time - the wheelchair- bound British physicist's dense tome about black holes and the Big Bang theory - shot up the bestseller lists, New York magazine examined this remarkable publishing phenomenon. The article was titled "The Great Unread Books of Our Time. " Although Hawking's book was supposedly aimed at the lay reader, few people, it seemed, could actually claim to understand his cosmological thesis, packed with quantum mechanics, particle physics and his formulations about the Big Crunch - a Big Bang counterpart at the last stop of the space-time continuum.