Ciro Santilli  Sponsor 中国独裁统治 China Dictatorship 新疆改造中心、六四事件、法轮功、郝海东、709大抓捕、2015巴拿马文件 邓家贵、低端人口、西藏骚乱
Figure 1.
xkcd 435: Fields arranged by purity
. Source.

Abraham Pais

words: 23 articles: 1
This due is a beast, he knows both the physics and the history of physics, and has the patience to teach it. What a blessing: Section "How to teach and learn physics".

Alain Aspect

words: 39
Figure 2. Source.
Video 1.
Alain Aspect in Quantum entanglement Documentary (1985)
. Source. The moustache and broken Englisn were already his trademarks back then!!! Also cool to get a glimpse of his lab, and good schematics of the experiment. TODO exact lab location? Documentary says in Paris, but where?

Albert Einstein

words: 7 articles: 5

Annus Mirabilis papers (1905)

words: 7 articles: 2
1926 translation A. D. Cowper:
The photoelectric effect paper.
Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Doctoral advisor: Murray Gell-Mann.

Brian Josephson

articles: 1

Carl Sagan

articles: 2

David Tong

words: 176
A charismatic, perfect-English-accent (Received Pronunciation) physicist from University of Cambridge, specializing in quantum field theory.
He has done several "vulgarization" lectures, some of which could be better called undergrad appetizers rather, a notable example being Video "Quantum Fields: The Real Building Blocks of the Universe by David Tong (2017)" for the prestigious Royal Institution, but remains a hardcore researcher: Lots of open access publications BTW, so kudos.
The amount of lecture notes on his website looks really impressive:, he looks like a good educator.
David has also shown some interest in applications of high energy mathematical ideas to condensed matter, e.g. links between the renormalization group and phase transition phenomena. TODO there was a YouTube video about that, find it and link here.
Ciro Santilli wonders if his family is of East Asian, origin and if he can still speak any east asian languages. "Tong" is of course a transcription of several major Chinese surnames and from looks he could be mixed blood, but as mentioned at it can also be an English "metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of tongs". After staring at his picture for a while Ciro is going with the maker of tongs theory initially.

Edward Witten

words: 37
This dude is generally viewed as a God. His incredibly understated demeanour and tone certainly help.
Video 2.
Unintentional ASMR | Sleepiest Interview Ever | Edward Witten
. Source. The title of this reupload is just epic. Edward telling his biography.

Edward Teller

words: 58 Edward Teller interview by Web of Stories (1996) Date shown at: Listener: John H. Nuckolls
Video 3.
Witnessing the test explosion Edward Teller interview by Web of Stories (1996)
. Source.
Video 4.
Edward Teller, An Early Time
. Source. Comissioned by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1979. Producer: Mario Balibreraa.

Enrico Fermi (1901-1954)

words: 46 articles: 4
Died of cancer at age 53. Ciro Santilli just can't help but speculate that it is linked to radioactivity exposure.

Adolfo Amidei

words: 12
This dude mentored Fermi in high school. Added some info at: from Enrico Fermi: physicist by Emilio Segrè (1970).

Work about Enrico Fermi

words: 18 articles: 2
Biography of Enrico Fermi by fellow physicist, free rent on the on the Internet Archive:
Video 5.
The World Of Enrico Fermi by Harvard Project Physics (1970)
. Source.
1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for cyclotron.

Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961)

words: 247 articles: 3

Paper by Erwin Schrödinger

words: 247 articles: 2
This paper appears to calculate the Schrödinger equation solution for the hydrogen atom.
TODO is this the original paper on the Schrödinger equation?
Published on Annalen der Physik in 1926.
Open access in German at: which gives volume 384, Issue 4, Pages 361-376. Kudos to Wiley for that. E.g. Nature did not have similar policies as of 2023.
This paper may have fallen into the public domain in the US in 2022! On the Internet Archive we can see scans of the journal that contains it at: Ciro Santilli extracted just the paper to: It is not as well processed as the Wiley one, but it is of 100% guaranteed clean public domain provenance! TODO: hmmm, it may be public domain in the USA but not Germany, where 70 years after author deaths rules, and Schrodinger died in 1961, so it may be up to 2031 in that country... messy stuff. There's also the question of wether copyright is was tranferred to AdP at publication or not.
An early English translation present at Collected Papers On Wave Mechanics by Deans (1928).
Contains formulas such as the Schrödinger equation solution for the hydrogen atom (1''):
  • In order for there to be numerical agreement, must have the value
  • , are the charge and mass of the electron
English translation of papers that include the original Quantization as an Eigenvalue Problem by Schrödinger (1926).
Published on Nature at and therefore still paywalled there as of 2023, it's ridiculous.
In 2024 it will fall into the public domain in the US.

Ettore Majorana

words: 16 articles: 1
Ciro's theory for his disappearance is that he became a Majorana fermion and flew off into the infinite.

Freeman Dyson (1923-2020)

words: 166 articles: 2
Ciro Santilli's admiration for Dyson goes beyond his "unify all the things approach", which Ciro loves, but also extends to the way he talks and the things he says. Dyson is one of Ciro's favorite physicist.
Besides this, he was also very idealistic compassionate, and supported a peaceful resolution until World War II with United Kingdom was basically ineviatble. Note that this was a strategic mistake.
Dyson is "hawk nosed" as mentioned in Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics by James Gleick (1994) chapter "Dyson". But he wasn't when he was young, see e.g. It sems that his nose just never stopped growing after puberty.
He also has some fun stories, like him practicing night climbing while at Cambridge University, and having walked from Cambridge to London (~86km!) in a day with his wheelchair bound friend.
Ciro Santilli feels that the label child prodigy applies even more so to him than to Feynman and Julian Schwinger.
Shot by Web of Stories.
The amount of detail in which he remembers all that happened is astounding. Not too different from the Murray Gell-Mann interview in that aspect.

Hans Bethe

words: 122
Head of the theoretical division at the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project.
Richard Feynman was working under him there, and was promoted to team lead by him because Richard impressed Hans.
He was also the person under which Freeman Dyson was originally under when he moved from the United Kingdom to the United States.
And Hans also impressed Feynman, both were problem solvers, and liked solving mental arithmetic and numerical analysis.
This relationship is what brought Feynman to Cornell University after World War II, Hans' institution, which is where Feynman did the main part of his Nobel prize winning work on quantum electrodynamics.
Hans must have been the perfect PhD advisor. He's always smiling, and he seemed so approachable. And he was incredibly capable, notably in his calculation skills, which were much more important in those pre-computer days.
WTF is wrong with that family???

Hermann Weyl (1885-1955)

words: 18 articles: 2

Publication by Hermann Weyl

words: 18 articles: 1
Published on the session reports of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences at Berlin 1918 page 464.
Is about Maxwell's equations in curved spacetime, and notably introduces gauge theory.
Viewable for free at:
Figure 3. Source.
Video 6.
Leo Szilard: The Genius Behind the Bomb
. Source. 1992. TODO an external link to the production? Producers credited at end: Helen Weiss and Alain Jehlen. As indicated at: it was apparently produced by WGBH, public radio station from Boston.
He was a leading figure at the MIT Radiation Laboratory, and later he was head at the Columbia University laboratory that carried out the crucial Lamb-Retherford experiment and the anomalous magnetic dipole moment of the electron published at the Magnetic Moment of the Electron by Kusch and Foley (1948) using related techniques.

Jakob Schwichtenberg

words: 98 articles: 2
personal website:
PhD at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2019: on the strong CP problem.
This is a good book. It is rather short, very direct, which is a good thing. At some points it is slightly too direct, but to a large extent it gets it right.
The main goal of the book is to basically to build the Standard Model Lagrangian from only initial symmetry considerations, notably the Poincaré group + internal symmetries.
The book doesn't really show how to extract numbers from that Lagrangian, but perhaps that can be pardoned, do one thing and do it well.
DokuWiki about physics, mostly/fully written by Jakob Schwichtenberg and therefore focusing on particle physics, although registration might be open to all.
This seems like a cool dude. Besides a hardcore scientist, he also made many important contributions to the French education and research system.
Richard Feynman's mentor at Princeton University, and notable contributor to his development of quantum electrodynamics.
Worked with Niels Bohr at one point.
Web of Stories interview (1996): He's a bit slow, you wonder if he's going to continute or not! One wonders if it is because of age, or he's always been like that.

John Bardeen

words: 88 articles: 1
Video 7.
The Story of John Bardeen at the University of Illinois (2010)
. Source.
Video 8.
Lillian Hoddeson talking about Bardeen
. Source. From Video 7. "The Story of John Bardeen at the University of Illinois (2010)". She's actually good looking!
This is the one Ciro Santilli envies the most, because he has such a great overlap with Ciro's interests, e.g.:
Video 9.
John von Neuman - a documentary by the Mathematical Association of America (1966)
. Source. Some good testimonies. Some boring.

Julian Schwinger

words: 180
Extremely precocious, borderline child prodigy, he was reading Dirac at 13-14 from the library.
He started working at night and sleeping during the moring/early afternoon while he was at university.
He was the type of guy that was so good that he didn't really have to follow the university rules very much. He would get into trouble for not following some stupid requirement, but he was so good that they would just let him get away with it.
Besides quantum electrodynamics, Julian worked on radar at the Rad Lab during World War II, unlike most other top physicists who went to Los Alamos Laboratory to work on the atomic bomb, and he made important contributions there on calculating the best shape of the parts and so on.
He was known for being very formal mathematically and sometimes hard to understand, in stark contrast to Feynman which was much more lose and understandable, especially after Freeman Dyson translated him to the masses.
However, QED and the men who made it: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga by Silvan Schweber (1994) does emphacise that he was actually also very practical in the sense that he always aimed to obtain definite numbers out of his calculations, and that was not only the case for the Lamb shift.

Leonard Susskind

words: 8 articles: 1
The bald confident chilled out particle physics guy from Stanford University!

Lord Kelvin

articles: 1

Luboš Motl

words: 21 articles: 1
physicist with lots of focus on politically incorrect/Right wing stuff:

Michio Kaku

words: 23
Well known popular science character. He just looks futuristic and wraps stuff in exciting empty words. When he shows up, you won't be learning much.

Murray Gell-Mann

words: 100
Web of Stories 1997 interview playlist:
The way this dude speaks. He exhales incredible intelligence!!!
In the interviews you can see that he pronounces names in all languages amazingly, making acute effort to do so, to the point of being notable. His passion for linguistics is actually mentioned on Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics by James Gleick (1994).
Maybe this obsession is partly due to his name which no English speaking person knows how to pronounce from the writing.
This passion also led in part for his names to some physics terminology he worked on winning out over alternatives by his collaborators, most notably in the case of the naming of the quark.

Max Planck (1858-1947)

words: 42 articles: 6

Work by Max Planck

words: 42 articles: 5 on Quote Investigator says it appeared in 1948. Can't easily check, but will believe it for now.
Published as Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers by Max Planck translated by Frank Gaynor (1949) which also contained other papers.
This section refers just to the translation of Scientific autobiography by Max Planck (1948).

Paper by Max Planck

words: 11 articles: 1
The Planck's law paper.,%20Distribution%20Law.pdf contains a replica of the translation present in The Old Quantum Theory by Dirk ter Haar (1967).
Figure 4. Source.
Figure 5. Source.
One of the leading figures of the early development of quantum electrodynamics.
Figure 6. Source.
Eccentric nerdy slow speaking physicist mostly based in University of Cambridge.
Created the Dirac equation, what else do you need to know?!
Figure 7. Source.
QED and the men who made it: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga by Silvan Schweber (1994) chapter 1.3 "P.A.M. Dirac and the Birth of Quantum Electrodynamics" quotes Dirac saying how being at high school during World War I was an advantage, since all slightly older boys were being sent to war, and so the younger kids were made advance as fast as they could through subjects. Exactly the type of thing Ciro Santilli wants to achieve with, but without the need for a world war hopefully.
Dirac was a staunch atheist having said during the Fifth Solvay Conference (1927)[ref]:
If we are honest - and scientists have to be - we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards - in heaven if not on earth - all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.
Video 10.
Paul Dirac and the religion of mathematical beauty by Royal Society (2013)
. Source.

Richard Feynman

words: 1k articles: 18
This section is present in another page, follow this link to view it.

Sean M. Carroll

words: 53 articles: 2
Works at Caltech as of 2020.
Sean's series The Biggest Ideas in the Universe has some merit, but it's just to math-light falling a bit below the missing link between basic and advanced.
But as usual, it falls too close to popular science for Ciro's taste.
Critique of Harvard by Sean Carroll. Applies to basically all universities.
Maybe they did try once though: Harvard Project Physics.

Stephen Hawking

words: 114
While learning black-hole stuff is not on top of Ciro Santilli's priorities, Hawking's spirit is to be admired.
To never give up even when everything seems lost, and still have a sense of humour is respectable.
An ex-physicist colleague who had met Hawking told an anecdote. Hawking was around in the department one day, they said hi and all. But then Hawking wanted to tell a joke. It took like 5 minutes of typing, and you can imagine that things were pretty awkward and the joke's timing was "a bit off". But Hawking did tell the joke nonetheless.
This is also suggested in the The Theory of Everything (2014) film, and therefore likely the biographies.

Sylvain Poirier

words: 195 articles: 1
Ciro Santilli feels a bit like this guy:
One big divergence: obsession with translating every page into every language.
His Mathematics Genealogy Project entry:
Old French website: so cute, he's looking for true love!!! This is something Ciro often thinks about: why it is so difficult to find love without looking people in the eye. The same applies to jobs to some extent. He has an Incel wiki page: :-)
Figure 8.
Sylvain's photo from his homepage.
. Source. He's not ugly at all! Just a regular good looking French dude.
Video 11.
Why learn Physics by yourself by Sylvain Poirier (2013)
. Source.

words: 30
Where Sylvain Poirier dumps his mathematics and physics brain.
Notably, given the domain name, it is clear that he likes formalization of mathematics-stuff, like Ciro Santilli.
At first glance, looks a bit dry though, not many examples.
quantum mechanics stuff at University of Hanover. Good teaching. Big respect:

Werner Heisenberg

words: 5 articles: 1
Participated in the German nuclear weapons program, ouch.
This dude is the charicature of the evil scientist! It is so funny. Brilliant, ambitious and petty!
Figure 9. Source.
Figure 10. Source.
The dude was brutal. Ron Maimon praises that at from Video "Ron Maimon interview with Jeff Meverson (2014)".
Figure 11. Source.



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