Sunday, July 29, 2018

Trinitron in the Hearafter

If I wrote about a dear pet on Facebook would you think me a doofus. What about a departed TV?  Well, here goes: Good bye trusty and transformational Trinitron Sony TV.The Cadillac of the analog CRT era. What a unique approach you took to presenting pixels! Not passed til the eyepadde.  Good bye Trinitron Sony TV the family once prayed for when the flower vase had fallen, driven by the wind, and slurped the TV with water, to short the printed circuit board. How we rejoiced when it dried and worked again. Apologies for crashing into it, and knocking it to the floor – sssqisshhhhhhhhhhhhh- in the night, when I wondered about cause I thought I smelled smoke. This time, the TV not to dry and revive. You showed usIraq, Norman Mailer, Pee Wee, the new Pope, the first Black president. Good bye Trinitron. I salute you on your journey to recycle. - JV

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Fermi, the Italian: Getting to Trinity

How did in enRico Fermi get into science? In the last Man who knew everything, David Schwartz writes he was walking down the street with an engineer friend of his father during the summer of 1914. The 14-year-old wants to talk about mathematics and science, and the engineer realizes the boy ''has a gift'' and he begins to teach him college math. Young Fermi saw math as a path go physics, which he was reading vociferously, having already even at that young age found Einstein's groundbreaking papers. The math would hold him in good stead

On his honeymoon he schooled his wife Laura in Maxwell's equations. After their wedding they settled in Rome and the daily routine. [Page 72]. He would rise at 5:30 in the morning, go into his study for two hours work at whatever physics problem he was trying to solve. This would end at exactly 7:30 and he'd prepare for the day. He was a professor running a big physics lab. One that held Italy's hopes to gain equal footing with Germany and England in the hot new science. He' take lunch, formal, no matter the intensity of the research, and this method continued into his work in later in the U.S.A. He'd be in bed by 10pm.

This firm schedule led a friend to call him a bureaucrat. Others said the precise schedule of his life was reflected in his style of thinking.

He was the acknowledged leader of physicists who came to be known as The Rome Group. He did work in statistical mechanics explaining the behavior of electrons in metal. This led to a study of beta radiation.

His departure from Italy - he was being watched by Mussollinni's agents -- was in some part driven by Anti-Jewish laws - He was Catholic - his wife was Jewish, and eventually some of her family were interred by Germans. TBC. - J. Vaughan


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