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alan lightman

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    The Day Feynman Worked Out Black-Hole Radiation on My Blackboard

    After a few minutes, Richard Feynman had worked out the process of spontaneous emission, which is what Stephen Hawking became famous for a year later.Wikicommons The amazing image of a black hole unveiled Wednesday, along with data from the Event Horizon Telescope, may not substantiate Stephen Hawking’s famous theory that radiation, an example of spontaneous […]

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    When the Heavens Stopped Being Perfect

    The advent of the telescope punctured our ideals about the nighttime sky.

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    It’s Personal: Five Scientists on the Heroes Who Changed Their Lives

    Meet the inspiring people—none named Einstein—who helped these scientists find their calling.

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    Is Life Special Just Because It’s Rare?

    Vitalism in the age of modern science.

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    Why “Hawking Radiation” Was Almost “Feynman Radiation”

    Nautilus’ Ingenious this month, Alan Lightman, is a successful writer and physicist, and one of the very rare people to receive an appointment in both science and humanities at MIT*. He did his doctoral research at Caltech while Richard Feynman was a professor there. One day, Lightman was on hand to see the brilliant and […]

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    Ingenious: Alan Lightman

    The physicist on writing, the writer on physics.

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    My Own Personal Nothingness

    From a childhood hallucination to the halls of theoretical physics.