Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
June 17, 2018, 11:34:28 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: As you may have noticed, this is a very old backup, I'm still working through restoring the site.  Don't be surprised if you post and it all goes missing....
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 ... 125 126 [127] 128 129 ... 165
  Print  
Author Topic: American History  (Read 29307 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
johnr60
Full Member
***
Posts: 206


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #1890 on: February 15, 2008, 10:43:11 PM »

Quote
I didn't post my husband's work as bona fides, but rather because I thought John would be interested.  When I went back and re-read, I saw that my intent was not clear, and so I removed the post.

did I miss something?
Logged
weezo
Poll Manager
Superhero Member
****
Posts: 3431


Resue when he was a cute little kitten


View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1891 on: February 15, 2008, 10:59:53 PM »

Yeppers, Josh,

We all missed that post where Laurie refuted one of Maddie's maddening assertions that she knows all about everything and everyone worth knowing about. While I would have like to learn more about Laurie's husband's work, I can understand her resisting the temptation to one-up someone who will never admit to being one-uppped.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying being a bit Einsteinish and going against the decision to read about the genius Oppenheimer and instead reading about Einstein.

It is a great postulate to the book I just finished about the beginning of the cold war when all the "experts" believed that all future wars would rely on atomic bombs, which have not been used since the first use in Japan. Politics is as its most amusing best when viewed from a fifty year hence pinnacle.

Logged
nytempsperdu
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 402


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #1892 on: February 15, 2008, 11:57:05 PM »

Oh dear, why do I feel like I've stumbled in on an episode of a transmogrified Mapp and Lucia?

Also, I find the idea of choosing which great scientist to read about on the basis of socio-economic background a bit ludicrous. I venture to say the one perceived as more "high born" of the two had much more association with working class movements, which association contributed to his eventual downfall, so there's a grand irony to read about. 

Mostly, though, I'd be more interested in which was the better bio.  I thought the Oppenheimer book particularly fine, and am certainly looking forward to the Einstein in hopes that it is close to being as well researched and written. 
 
Anyone here familiar enough with both to make a comparison?
Logged
weezo
Poll Manager
Superhero Member
****
Posts: 3431


Resue when he was a cute little kitten


View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1893 on: February 16, 2008, 12:22:03 AM »

Laurie,

Please check out two problems I am want to solve to add some physics activities to my sebsite. The first is based on a section early in the Einstein book, and while the creative thought he had can be easily demonstrated in a classroom (with a gym map instead of a trampoline, a heavy ball, and lighter balls in the case where a bowling ball and billiard balls may not be available. I just am not sure how to tie it into what kids are learning about. The second is a lesson for which the scientific explanation was lost over many years of using it i an elementary classroom. It sounds like a messily-fun science activity, but I need some clue to what it illustrates other than that water, like anything else falls down subject to gravity.

Please hop over to Education Forum and let me know if your hubby can be any help in rounding out these two acitivities.

Thanks!
Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #1894 on: February 16, 2008, 01:09:27 AM »

The scientists at Los Alamos must have felt an absolute mixture of awe and fear at Trinity in July 1945.  There was a betting pool on exactly how much kick the thing would have.  Fermi didn't participate, instead took bets on whether they would blow up the state of New Mexico.  The possibility was considered that the atmosphere would be destroyed and the world would end.  I've read that the final words before the test were "should we get a chaplain." 

Here's a site some of you may enjoy:

http://www.cfo.doe.gov/me70/manhattan/trinity.htm
Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #1895 on: February 16, 2008, 01:26:39 AM »

It is interesting how quickly the science community associated the idea of fission with its possibilities for war.  But, HG Wells saw it as early as 1914 when he wrote "The World Set Free."  Even more interesting, according to Rhodes, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb," Slizard read the book in 1932 and applied for patents on nuclear chain reaction in 1934, four years before the Meitner/Frisch work that opened the door to the physical possibility.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2008, 01:32:45 AM by Lhoffman » Logged
Dzimas
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4500


I thought you said your name was Nobody.


View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1896 on: February 16, 2008, 03:38:28 AM »

I have "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" sitting on my shelf somewhere and have to look into it.  Thanks for the reminder, hoffman.  The quote by Oppenheimer on Einstein is early on in American Prometheus, and refers to Einstein's inabilty to accept quantum mechanics at the time.  I guess he was working along entirely different lines and couldn't see the twain meeting.  Oppenheimer initially discounted the splitting of a uranium atom until he saw it with his own eyes, unable to prove it theoretically.
Logged
thanatopsy
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 501



View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #1897 on: February 16, 2008, 08:34:59 AM »

``I thought the Oppenheimer book particularly fine, and am certainly looking forward to the Einstein in hopes that it is close to being as well researched and written. ``


No question that Prometheus is a fine read.

 Einstein was an international figure. If possible, for those who are interested in discussing his bio, please do so in the World History section. Let's keep this section for American historical figures.
Logged

''Love much & be forgiven''

- - - Margaret Fuller
Dzimas
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4500


I thought you said your name was Nobody.


View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1898 on: February 16, 2008, 08:45:54 AM »

Or atleast focused on the discussion at hand.  While I imagine much of Oppenheimer's intelligence was innate, it seemed his mother did her best to invoke a discipline in his work, while his father seemed to encourage him to take whatever road he wanted to take.  The authors note how he would buy whatever currently fascinated Oppie.  The piece about the rocks and how he eventually gave an acceptance speech to become a member of the New York Geological Society at 12 years old was a gem.  Obviously, this kid was special.  But, from the get go he seemed to have a hard time keeping his focus, which helps to explain why his interests lay more in the theoretical and not the experimental in Physics.  It turned out to be the opposite for his brother Frank.

It was also interesting to read about the impressive art collection his mother had on display at that New York home, and the influence she seemed to have when it came to his aesthetic tastes, even if he found the piano a painful experience.  The authors dabble in the Oedipal here, and maybe Tatlock's forceful personality was something he needed at the time, as his mother's had been.  But, I generally don't put too much stock in these sorts of the things.

For the most part the book seems to focus on Oppenheimer's Communist links, as the book starts with him having to face HUAC in 1954.  The authors seem to indicate that Oppenheimer's links were not unusual for its day, especially among liberal professors.  Rutherford and other fellow scientists cautioned him to keep his nose clean, I guess sensing something that he couldn't perceive, or simply because they thought he was wasting his time on extraneous affairs when he should be doing physics.

I look forward to discussing more of these aspects of his character.
Logged
thanatopsy
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 501



View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #1899 on: February 16, 2008, 09:02:36 AM »

Great analysis.

What a remarkable contrast between his very nurturing parents, and the ill treatment he and his wife gave his son.

Opp was warned of the evils of Stalinism and of the bloody purges by physicists Placzek and Weisskopf. Despite that, he attempted to justify Stalin's pact with Hitler as some form of necessity. Indeed, left leaning scholars grew disillusioned with the Soviets, especially in Berkeley where the government was investigating certain political activities. But Opp remained sympathetic with leftist causes.  So much that ''we were pulling the New Deal to the left''.

Ouch!
Logged

''Love much & be forgiven''

- - - Margaret Fuller
thanatopsy
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 501



View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #1900 on: February 16, 2008, 09:26:22 AM »

Another troubling aspect of Opp's life is his relationship with Kitty.  He had been rejected by the strong willed and aberrant Jean. Then he pursues still another strong willed and unstable Kitty Harrison who was married!  This, they said, conformed with their ''modern views concerning sex''.

Again, ouch!!
Logged

''Love much & be forgiven''

- - - Margaret Fuller
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #1901 on: February 16, 2008, 11:57:38 AM »

The whole Harrison thing was interesting...the way the husband just kindly stepped aside.  Oppenheimer's  secretary at Los Alamos  said that women in general found him charming and charismatic.  At any gathering, he would be surrounded by women....so you have to wonder why pursue one who is already married.  But perhaps Kitty was rebound; her strong will and instability reminded him of Jean.  When Oppenheimer told his friend Serber that he was getting married, Serber wasn't sure whether the bride was Kitty or Tatlock.
Logged
Bob
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 671


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #1902 on: February 16, 2008, 09:57:06 PM »

Quote
I'm enjoying being a bit Einsteinish and going against the decision to read about the genius Oppenheimer and instead reading about Einstein.

Well, weezo, I think it most unfortunate that you see the need to do so....this is a discussion on AMERICAN PROMETHIUS, not on EINSTEIN, as good as that book is.

If you had asked I would have posted that the reason the remark on Einstein was made was that Einstein thought quantum mechanics was a flawed theory and Oppenheimer couldn't see why such a great physicist could resist the latest theories. He was writing to his brother. Later in PROMETHIUS the author expresses the view that Oppenheimer believed Einstein a figure of he past rather that of the moment or of the future. He deeply respected him and acknowledged his greatness. As is well known, Einstein died working on a Unified Theory, which was his answer to Quantum Mechanics.

Let's return to Oppenheimer. If people want to discuss EINSTEIN I think it only fair they wait until they can do so in the ordinary course of things. His life is not paraallel to that of Oppenheimer, though they both worked on matters having to do with the development of the Bomb and the Institue for Advance Studies.
Logged
weezo
Poll Manager
Superhero Member
****
Posts: 3431


Resue when he was a cute little kitten


View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1903 on: February 16, 2008, 11:17:22 PM »

Bob,

Inasmuch as you are the acknowledged leader of the history forums, I bow to your decision to hold off discussion of Einstein until such time as everyone is reading or has read it. I am truly grateful for the fact that you do not dismiss Einstein as not as "American" as Oppenheimer.

As someone who kept up with theories in their field, especially learning theories, I can appreciate Einstein's resistance to buying into the latest and greatest theory to come out if it just didn't square with his reasoning. I've been in that position, and am now old enough to see that my hesitation for some theories despite their newness, have turned out to be accurate. Sometimes the new is merely a passing fad rather than substantial progress in understanding.

That aid, I do no know if the theory that Oppenheimer criticized Einstein for no accepting was or has become accepted. Truth, whether it is science or history, is relative to time and space. Hmmmmm. Perhaps I have finally come to understand the meaning of Einstein's theory of relativity after it totally confused me for so many years.

Somehow, this reminds me of the discussion of whether an Asian or a European made first contact with American Indians and should be credited with "discovery" of the continent. Does the fact that a theorist  in our times misnamed a mountain as a volcano refute the liklihood that the events occurred? Or does it just suggest to us that we need to explore the possibility with more fervor in order to discern what actually happened in the 15th century? Myself, I am waiting to be able to don my magical history hat knitted by an ancient woman who followed directions handed down from the dawn of the universe, to be able to answer these questions for myself.
Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #1904 on: February 17, 2008, 12:01:02 AM »

Here is a piece written by Oppenheimer about a year before his death which expresses his view of and relationship to Einstein.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/12538
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 12:13:07 AM by Lhoffman » Logged
Pages: 1 ... 125 126 [127] 128 129 ... 165
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!