Friday, August 15, 2008
Quote of the Day: Why and Not Just How
Arthur L. Schawlow - Physicist
“It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious.... I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life."
American-born Arthur Schawlow was a Professor of Physics at Stanford University. In 1981 he won the Nobel Prize in physics for his work on lasers. He also investigated superconductivity and nuclear resonance. In 1991 the NEC Corporation and the American Physical Society established the Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science.
Schawlow, a.k.a. "The Laser Man", used to entertain students and other audiences by shooting a beam through a transparent balloon to pop the darker Mickey Mouse balloon inside. The demonstration showed that the laser could be tuned to pass through the transparent outer balloon without burning it.
Prof. Schawlow, who had an autistic child, helped establish an autistic centre in Paradise, California, which was named the Arthur Schawlow Center in 1999, shortly before his death.
He was a practicing Methodist.
"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"