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Influential Physicists

Personal Backgrounds

What do they say about me?

Sixty Years Since 1962

      Physics faculty photo of Spring 1963 (during my first year at the University). I am the youngest person in this photo.
  • In 1962, I came to the Greater Washington area to become an assistant professor of physics at the University of Maryland. The campus is 25 km north of the White House.

    In 2007, I became a Professor Emeritus (without teaching duties) and am writing books and articles. I can travel around the world wihout time restrictions, and I enjoy meeting interesting people. Click here for the photos from the world.

  • In 1962, Paul A. M. Dirac (Nobel 1933) visited the University of Maryland for one week, and I was assigned to be a personal assistant (servant) to him. I learned his physics directly from him. I was like Nicodemus meeting Jesus (story from the Gospel of John in the New Testament). I was born again, and I was able to develop my own research line I still follow.

      Dashen made this bad calculation in 1965, but he never admitted his mistake.

  • In 1965, while I was struggling to find out myself, the physics community produced the genius of the century named Roger Dashen who calculated the mass the neutron-proton mass difference. He was appointed as a full professor at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study (Einstein's place until he died in 1955).

    I have my Herod complex, and become uneasy when I hear someone (other than myself) is a genius. I had to prove his published papers were wrong, and I published my papers saying so. Click here for a detailed story.

    However, the reaction from the American physics community became hostile to me. My colleagues and teachers told me

      Dashen is a genius, but you are a Korean.

    Side Remarks

    • While I was at Princeton (1958-62), my friends routinely told me

      1. Koreans cannot run their own country. The best solution is to give the country back to Japan.

        Not many Americans know the history of that area before the Pearl Harbor Day of 1941.

      2. The orientals do not have brains to make nuclear bombs.

        It is safe to say that this kind of thinking was the cause of the present problem with North Korea's nuclear bombs.

    • My only possible response was to remain silent. In spite of those noises, the United States rewards those who work hard, and I worked hard.

    This was a very valid statement in the United States at that time, but the statement consists of two totally independent comments. The question is whether the word "Korean" has anything to do with being a genius or an idiot.

  • Not many people know Dashen was a genius, but I was and still am a Korean boy. Korea has a long history, and Koreans take genealogy very seriously. With my Korean background, I constructed and believe in this genealogy.

  • Indeed, my colleagues in the same department made their best efforts to find out whether Dashen was right or I was right.

    They found out the truth. This is the reason why I still have my office at the University, and I still publish my articles and books with the university address.

    The United States has been very nice to me.

  • The fact that Princeton made this tragic misjudgment is known as the Dashen-Frautchi fiasco, and this incident inflicted a serious damage to Princeton's reputation.

    Yet, Princeton, with the prestige established during the Einstein era, kept producing excitements by producing new words (not necessarily new physics). The latest word from Princeton was the String Model or String Theory. I do not know what happened to these string stuff.

    • Quantum mechanics of moving bound states.
      Click here for detailed explanation.

    • Click here for my review paper published in the J. of Modern Physics (2022).

  • As for me, I had to build my own research line. I could not trust Princeton, but I could not give up my Princeton background which carries Einstein's name.

    1. While I was at Princeton, Eugene Paul Wigner (Nobel 1963) was totally isolated from the rest of the department. Yet, I had a great respect for him, and started studying his 1939 paper on internal space-time symmetries.
      Click here for my Wigner page.

    2. I had to go back to what I learned from Dirac (Nobel 1933) in 1962.
      Click here for my Dirac page.

      Based on these two cornerstones, I was able to develop and expand my own research line described in this webpage.

    3. Let me summarize. The United States rewards those who work hard. I worked hard, and was able to produce this genealogy in physics:

      Justified? Click here.

Life in the Greater Washington Area since 1962

  • Washington DC is the capital city of the United States. The city of Washington is geographically within the state of Maryland. The University Maryland is 25 km north of the White House.

    Washington was a sleepy southern town when I came to this area 1962. Since then the world became different. China became very powerful. Europe became much richer. The Soviet Union collapsed. The net result is that the United States became more influential, and Washington became the capital city of the World.

  • One unknown fact is that there are far more scientists than politicians in the Washington area.

    1. Politicians are noisy while scientists are quiet.

    2. Click here for the photos from this area.

  • In 1963, I married a girl I met during my freshman year (1954) in Korea. In Korea, the school year begins in March, instead of September. I thus spent one semester at the Engineering College of Seoul National University before becoming a freshman in September at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh.

  • In 1969, we bought our house, 8 km north of the university campus. I used to work at my university office during evening hours.

      Our son's graduation at Princeton Univsersity in 1987.

  • In 1983, our son became a freshman at Princeton University. Thus, my wife was privileged to marry a Princeton man and sent her son to Princeton. Here is her photo-bio.

  • In 2005, my son married a medical doctor, and we now have one grandson and granddaughter. They also live in the Washington area, and we have family meetings twice a month.

  • In 2007, I retired from my teaching duties at the University of Maryland, and my wife retired earlier in 2002. We became free to travel around the world. Click here for our travel page.