By Balazs Hargittai
Candid technology V: Conversations with well-known Scientists includes 36 interviews with famous scientists, together with 19 Nobel laureates, Wolf Prize winners, and different luminaries. those in-depth conversations offer a glimpse into the best achievements in technology prior to now few a long time, that includes tales of the discoveries, and exhibiting the human drama at the back of them. the best scientists are introduced into shut human proximity as though readers have been having a talk with them. This quantity departs from the former ones in that it comprises interviews with mathematicians as well as physicists, chemists, and biomedical scientists. one other peculiarity of this quantity is that it contains 9 interviews from one other venture, the gathering of the past due Clarence Larson, former Commissioner of the Atomic power fee and his spouse, Jane ("Larson Tapes"). The 36 interviewees comprise well-known personalities of our time, reminiscent of Donald Coxeter, John Conway, Roger Penrose, Alan Mackay, Dan Shechtman, Charles Townes, Arthur Schawlow, Leon Cooper, Alexei Abrikosov, Luis Alvarez, William Pickering, William Fowler, Vera Rubin, Neta Bahcall, Rudolf Peierls, Emilio Segre, Harold Agnew, Clarence Larson, Nelson Leonard, Princess Chulabhorn, Linus Pauling, Miklos Bodanszky, Melvin Calvin, Donald Huffman, Alan MacDiarmid, Alan Heeger, Jens Christian Skou, Paul Lauterbur, Gunther Stent, John Sulston, Renato Dulbecco, Baruch Blumberg, Arvid Carlsson, Oleh Hornykiewicz, Paul Greengard, and Eric Kandel.
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Additional info for Candid Science V: Conversations with Famous Scientists (Pt. 5)
The particular problem that started it was about four circles in an ordinary H. S. M. (Donald) Coxeter 15 plane all having contact with one another. It’s very easy to make three circles have contact; the fourth one will go in between in the middle or outside. So you have four circles in mutual contact. Soddy noticed that if you don’t consider the radii themselves but their reciprocals, the curvatures of the circles, then the four curvatures satisfy a nice quadratic relationship: the sum of the squares of the curvatures is half the square of their sum.
I worked out this simple new group called the Conway group, which at the time was a really exciting contribution to knowledge. As soon as it was done I started traveling all over the world. I crossed the Atlantic, gave a twenty-minute talk, and flew back. That was around 1970. The upshot was that suddenly I started producing things. The next year I produced the surreal numbers, and then something else. Not only did I become successful, but I also deserved the success. I remember thinking one day, asking myself, “What’s happened?
I thought this as being an obstruction to this being actually found in nature. Of course, they hadn’t been found in nature so I didn’t think of it as something that you would likely discover. 40 Hargittai & Hargittai, Candid Science V What came after the Bulletin paper? The kites and darts and rhombuses, a six-piece non-periodic set, an aperiodic set as we now say. This happened when Simon Kochin was visiting from Princeton. We were discussing Raphael Robinson and how he’d done various things. We would like to get the minimum solutions to problems and he had a set of six tiles, which was based on squares, which is an aperiodic six-piece set.