On the Trail of Astrophysicist and Writer Fred Hoyle

Fred Hoyle, born in Gilstead, England

In September 2019, my sabbatical research on the life and work of noted scientist and writer Sir Fred Hoyle brought me to England, and to the region of Bingley (including Gilstead and Eldwick) in the traditional and beautiful West Riding of Yorkshire. I had the chance to see the house where Hoyle grew up, the pub established by his great-grandfather, poet Ben Preston, the former Eldwick School that he attended, and many of the lanes and paths on which he walked. It was a truly lovely and enlightening visit. …

Exclusive interview with Italian nuclear physicist Viviana Mossa about her team’s astonishing new deuterium-burning results

Imagining the Big Bang

In 1948, George Gamow and Ralph Alpher predicted that the bulk of the helium in the universe was created during the hot Big Bang by means of a multi-stage process, involving, as one of the steps, elemental hydrogen (a single proton) and its isotope deuterium (a proton plus a neutron). Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) was an astonishing prediction, that turned out to be right on the mark.

From eerie encounters with purported psychics to “spooky action at a distance.”

Elsa and Albert Einstein with purported psychic Gene Dennis

Of all the writings by Albert Einstein, one of the most surprising of his contributions was his preface to Upton Sinclair’s 1930 book on telepathy, Mental Radio. Sinclair, a well-known writer (The Jungle) and social activist, wrote that book in reaction to his feeling that his wife had uncanny powers, such as the ability to read his mind. If he lost his keys, she knew exactly where to find them. Some might argue that such “mind-reading” happens regularly for couples, who start to get to know each others’…

Nobel laureate physicist Wolfgang Pauli had a penchant for hurling evil zingers at other scientists

Wolfgang Pauli with Paul Ehrenfest (CERN)

By the age of 20, Viennese physicist Wolfgang Pauli had acquired the reputation of being a wunderkind, a child genius. His PhD supervisor Arnold Sommerfeld had recruited him to write an article about Einsteinian relativity for a scientific encyclopedia. The opportunity gave Pauli the chance to shine. Fellow physicists applauded its systematic overview of the subject.

Serendipitous discussions in a coffee shop with Jungian scholar Kathleen Damiani about Neoplatonism, David Bohm, and other topics

When Carl G. Jung coined the term synchronicity to denote meaningful acausal connections, he looked for examples in his life and in the lives of his patients. Cases in which a certain object or image manifested itself in various forms within a short period of time resonated with him.

An Entangled Parable of Acausal Connections

Twins Fred and George enacting “magic” to enlighten us about quantum entanglement

One of the most surprising aspects of quantum entanglement is the possibility of access to shared information between widely separated particles, enabling them to coordinate their state parameters (for example spin or polarization states) over great distances. …

The Unlikely Journey of Musician Max Born, from Fellini to Folk Songs, Including Recollections of his Famous Nobel-Prize-winning Grandfather

Clockwise: Max Russell Born in the recording studio of his good friend Hay Zeelen, an international authority in music mastering who produced, mixed and mastered Strange Times, and his new solo material (from his Facebook page), his 1969 performance as the Roman slave boy Giton in Fellini’s Satyricon, and a portrait of his esteemed grandfather Max Born, 1954 Nobel Laureate in Physics

In sunny Mallorca, Spain a gifted singer-songwriter, with a proclivity toward eastern philosophy (Buddhism) and alternative medicine (yoga, natural remedies), pens clever lyrics about quantum physics and relativity, among other topics. His topical albums, such as “Strange Times,” display abundant talent and imagination.

Mileva Maric Einstein, Albert Einstein’s wife, wrote in 1936 to famed Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung for advice about their younger son Eduard Einstein, diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Eduard Einstein, the younger son of Albert and Mileva Maric Einstein

Of the three children of Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric Einstein, only one, Hans Albert, the eldest son (and middle child), ended up with a happy life and a successful career. As a hydraulic engineer, he was honored for his achievements. The Einstein lineage (Albert and Mileva’s grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren) stems from his marriage to Frieda Knecht.

The Search for Life on Mars: The Greatest Scientific Detective Story of All Time

By Elizabeth Howell and Nicholas Booth

A riveting chronicle about intriguing personalities and missions involved in the quest for Martian life

Despite being one of the closest planets to Earth, Mars has continued to represent a deep mystery. For more than a century, though luminaries such as Percival Lowell speculated about life on the Red Planet, science has revealed that its conditions are singularly uninviting, including an extremely thin atmosphere, extraordinarily cold temperatures, and so forth. …

Paul Halpern

Physicist and science writer. Author of Synchronicity: The Epic Quest to Understand the Quantum Nature of Cause and Effect

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