Niels Bohr - Another Pipe Smoker

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aquadoc

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Feb 15, 2017
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I have a rather large library and I am always looking for 1st edition science books and manuscripts and I ran across this photo while searching for a copy of "Light and Life".



 

brian64

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Jan 31, 2011
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Great pic...and great quote. Quantum mechanics is on the verge of discovering what mystics have known for millennia.

 

toobfreak

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Dec 19, 2016
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I may have a few first edition books for you. As to Niels, many of the great physicists who brought us today's world were smokers of the pipe. We couldn't have the modern world without it. As to the shock of quantum mechanics, you can see that is quite evident by all the horsees, kitty cats and petunias drawn on the black board. :mrgreen:

 

toobfreak

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Dec 19, 2016
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Though expressed differently, both the traditional artist and the science mathematician both involve a certain amount of creative thinking and expression, and creativity is at the heart of both disciplines.

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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My brother, who is a theoretical Physicist who worked at Los Alamos for 30 years, had a great story about Bohr. Seems there's this phenomenon called the "Physicist's Curse", or "Physicist's Effect" whereby unfortunate things happen around physicists, mainly because they're preoccupied with thinking about the mysteries of the universe, and not so much about their immediate surroundings.
The story goes that Bohr was traveling by train and his itinerary had his train stopping in a town where a close friend lived. This friend was working on an important line of research, one that he had been working on for many years. At the precise moment that Bohr's train pulled into the station, an explosion happened in his friend's lab, followed by a fire that destroyed all of the fellow's research. Bohr heard about the disaster and sent his friend a note that stated, "I had nothing to do with it!"

 

toobfreak

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Dec 19, 2016
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Oh I bet he did, Jesse! It was that spooky action at a distance! Damn that Bohr! :mrgreen:

 

aquadoc

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Feb 15, 2017
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I loved physics until I took P-Chem.... I needed a different tobacco to understand that CF. Let's mix calculus and kinetics and quantum mechanics, they said. It will be fun........

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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While not truly "up" on physics, I think I take his meaning. One of the reasons people get in such knots and anxiety about their "world" is that they don't delve into the astonishing advances that underlie the changes. If we felt we were in on those, we would feel obligated to guide the change, but also would feel somewhat in control, not imposed upon and captured by events. Um, that's probably more profound than I am, but it's a thought.
toobreak, the arts and sciences are good for each other. Lab scientists should see paintings, and poets should read about science. Looking across the gap enhances both pursuits, for sure. Look at the sketches on the chalk board behind Niels.

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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It's true, many if not most scientists are by nature creative in various fields. On the other hand, I have known some who, though they may master an art or play an instrument, do not translate their work into standard English well, and feel most at home looking at the quantitative expression of data only, consider text all bluff and blarney (sometimes it is! but not always or usually). However, artists can be so haphazard in their use of science in their work, often get the principles wrong, or put science in fantasy terms. This can be good or interesting for the art, but not the science. On the other hand, some writers and visual artists and musicians really digest and incorporate the science. A scientist at my work place did dazzling stain glass windows on scientific subjects -- cells, molecules, DNA -- and a scientist friend is a painter (oils mostly I think).