Bulent Atalay

  Albert Einstein, whose name has become synonymous with “genius,” was a complex man, a virtual bundle of contradictions. The ultimate intellectual rebel, he demonstrated a level of intuition and imagination beyond any mathematical scientist since Isaac Newton. He was a very good mathematician, but not a mathematical genius in the mode of Newton, who...

  Among physics students, March 14 is known as “π-Day” (“Pi-Day”) the day that Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879. The venerable physicist is known for changing the very paradigm of physics, rejecting the three “fundamental undefinables” of length, mass and time as invariant, and positing in their place the speed of...

To former students and other friends in the Washington, DC area. I would love to see you at the lecture, Patterns in Creativity: Leonardo and Newton – Corcoran Gallery of Art. on December 7 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. These two transformative geniuses share many traits, and differ in many others. I plan to...

On November 4, 2011, Norman F. Ramsey, one of the titans of 20th century science, passed away in Wayland, Massachusetts. His life and career had spanned almost a century. The technologies that sprung from his work touch the lives of billions living today. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a mainstay of medical diagnostics technology, and the Atomic...

August 10, 2011. The Crystal Serenity, the cruise ship on which I was serving as a lecturer, was anchored in the French Riviera, off the coast of Cannes. Late at night I wandered into the computer lab where a roomful of 27″ iIMacs (68 cm) were fast asleep, their screen savers creating an eye catching...

9/11 Boat Rescue The photograph shows a mangled piece of the original antenna crowning one of the 110 story buildings. The relic is on permanent display at the Newseum in Washington, DC. (Photo by the author.) This is a sad day in the United States, as well as in the rest of the civilized world....

Transparent materials, including glass, diamonds or even water, will bend, or refract, rays of light. If a globule of the transparent material possesses axial symmetry, then it can focus the light, or act as “a lens” (a word inspired by the Latin word for a grain of lentil, evocative of the shape of the double...

Just as 2005, commemorating the Centennial of Einstein’s Annus Mirabilus (“Miracle Year”) was celebrated as the “Year of Physics,” 2009 commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the invention of the astronomical telescope was celebrated as the “Year of Astronomy.” It is generally known that the German-Dutch lens maker Hans Lipperchey had received the first patent for...

On June 23, 2006 I had been serving as a lecturer on board the cruise ship, Crystal Serenity, when the ship docked for the day in Thessalonica (the old Ottoman Turkish city of “Selanik”). With close friends from the ship, I drove to Virgina, to see the tumulus of Phillip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the...

An integral part of Anzac Day Services in Australia and New Zealand during the past nine decades has been a reading of the elegy inspired by the sonnet, “For the Fallen,” by the Oxford educated Laurence Binyon (1869-1943): They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them,...