Sergei Eisenstein in Physics
- We would normally expect that someone writes a movie story first.
Then actors perform, and a cameraman shoots. Eisenstein had a different
idea. Shoot the camera first, and then compose the story using
those pictures. This is the reason why Ivan the Terrible appears as
two completely different characters in the two volumes.
What does this have to do with me? Webpages!
Since 1959, I have been taking many photos. They were not too useful. However, since 2001, I started making webpages. To make a webpage, we have to choose a set of photos, place them in proper order, and then write in stories. This is how I make my webpages. I do not know how else one can produce the pages. This is precisely what I learned from Eisenstein.
Let us see how Eisensteinism works. I took these two photos in 2002. The second photo was taken first at a different place. But the combination of the two makes a perfect story. The web stories do not have have to tell lies. I enjoy more when I tell true stories. Here are some webpages constructed from my old photos.
- Princeton Photos I collected since 1961.
- Cameras I owned since 1959. Viewers seem to enjoy the stories I filled in between the camera photos.
- Tanks since 1935. I was able to express my views on technology versus bureaucracy.
If you think my webpages are trying to tell you something, it is because of the lesson I learned from Sergei Eisenstein.
- I have been making webpages since 2000 AD. I had to construct stories
based on the photos I have taken in the past. I had to combine those
photos in a judicious order. I then realized I was practicing
If anyone has a distinctive new idea, it is usually a product of his/her childhood environment. For instance, Kant's philosophy was based on the geographical condition of Koenigsberg (now Kaliningrad) where Kant spent 80 years of his entire life. Here is my webpage dedicated to this subject.
Eisenstein could not be an exception. In order to find out what environment he had during his early years, I went in June of 2010 to Riga (Latvia) where he was born and raised. While talking with Latvians there, I learned that his father came from Saint Petersburg and became a very prominent architect. There are still some beautiful buildings designed by him. Great! I went to those buildings and could see immediately how Eisenstein became so creative.
To make a long story short, let us look at one of those buildings designed by his father.
- This architect of course had his reasons to bring many things from
different places. However, his design forces us to think beyond what
we see. The architect was Sergei Eisenstein's father.
Very definitely, Sergei was strongly influenced by his father. He looks at the photos he has taken, and then thinks carefully about what idea he could produce from those photos. This is what Eisenstein's creativity is all about.
Let us translate this into your issue. You have published many papers in the past. Look at them again, and try to construct a new idea from them.
Eisensteinism does not end here. Humans from their beginning had a habit of looking at the stars during the night and made attempts to make sense out of them. We still carry this habit of watching the sky. We do cosmology, black holes, dark matter, gravitational waves, and many more to come.
Click here for an article about STEP 2.
- By 1500 AD, humans observed that some of those heavenly objects follow
elliptic or hyperbolic trajectories. Isaac Newton then wrote down a
second-order differential equation for both.
In quantum mechanics, this translates into running waves and standing waves. Here again, Erwin Schroedinger's second-order differential equation takes care of this problem. The question then is how to deal with this problem in Einstein's Lorentz-covariant world. Click here for further discussion.
- As for the geometry of ellipse and hyperbola, ancient Greeks came up
with the using a circular cone. This cone contains both ellipse and hyperbola.
When I was 15 years old, I learned that the equation
A x 2 + B y2 = Constant
can produce both ellipse and hyperbola, and is as good at the circular cone used by those Greeks.
If this equation looks too childish to you, you can consider a two-by-two unimodular matrix with real elements. It has three independent parameters, but it can be brought to an equi-diagonal form by a rotation. Then the matrix has two independent parameters and takes one of the following three forms.
The first matrix is a squeezed rotation matrix, and is therefore for an elliptic orbit. The second matrix is for a hyperbolic orbit. The third is for a linear orbit. If we construct a four-by-four matrix, it will be quadratic in the parameter, and thus represent a parabolic orbit.
The question then is whether these three matrices can be combined into one analytic matrix. The answer is Yes. We can use the mathematical technique called the Bargmann decomposition to combine all three of the above matrices into one expression, given as
What I said above is strictly about mathematical aspect of two-by-two matrices. However, it is applicable to at least two important branches of modern physics.
- Optics (both quantum and classical) is largely a
physics of two-by-two matrices (or ABCD matrices) and
Click here for two-by-two matrices in optics.
- In 1939, Eugene Wigner published his paper on the
little groups which dictate the internal space-time
symmetries of particles in the Lorentz-covariant
world. The three equi-diagonal matrices given above
serve as the basis for Wigner's little group.
Wigner always wanted to translate his 1939 paper into the language of two-by-two matrices. It appears that Wigner's little groups emerge from this simple mathematical property of the two-by-two matrix.
- There are many other branches of physics I am not competent to speak about. However, solutions are possible only if the problems are brought into the form of harmonic oscillators or/and two-by-two matrices, since otherwise they cannot be solved.
I made the above conclusion by looking at the many of my past papers, as Sergei Eisenstein constructed new stories based on the photos he took. Many people complain that my papers contain only two-by-two matrices, ellipses, and hyperbolas. But they cannot complain about what I said above.
- Optics (both quantum and classical) is largely a physics of two-by-two matrices (or ABCD matrices) and Fourier transformations. Click here for two-by-two matrices in optics.
- So far, we have been treating ellipse and hyperbola as different curves.
I am not satisfied with this observation. I am interested in whether the
hyperbola and ellipse are the same thing. For this purpose, let us write
another baby formula, namely
x2 - y2 = (x + y) (x - y) .
If (x2 - y2) remains constant as in the case of hyperbola, (x - y) should become smaller as (x + y) becomes large. This means that there is an ellipse for each point on the hyperbolic trajectory.
In 1962, I had an audience with Paul A. M. Dirac. He told me to study the contents of Lorentz covariance. Since Dirac told me so, I had to read his papers. His papers are like poems, but they do not contain figures. Thus, I decided to translate his poems into one picture. On this project, I have been working with Marilyn Noz since 1973. You may click here for our latest paper on this subject.
I already talked too much about myself. I could talk more, but I should stop here. I took many photos while in Riga. I have placed some of them on this webpage, and will place more when I have time. Let us look at those photos.
|Impressed? Come to me!|
|In reality, the second photo was taken first. This is how I can make a story by re-arranging photos.|
Photos from Riga (June 2010)
- Panoramic View of Riga.
room. Riga is an old city. I took this photo from my hotel room on the
15th floor of the Raddison Blue hotel.
- Suspension Bridge accross the Daugava River, which runs through the center of the city, and which connects to the Baltic Sea. Another Bridge, Taditional and old-fashoned.
- New Buildings. This is one of the bank buildings on Riga's coast line. Many cranes are seen in the background indicating future capitalist buildings.
- Street Buses and Communist-era Buildings.
- Statue of Liberty. Latvia is a small country, and has been invaded and liberated a number of times throughout her history. Latvians had reasons to celebrate whenever they became liberated. There are a number of statues like this in Riga.
- Major Transportation Hub.
Riga grew as a major harbor for the Baltic Sea. Even these days, giant
ocean liners can come to the city through the Daugava channel. This river is
like New York's
- One of the Old-town Taverns tells about Riga's martitime past. Old-time dining/drinking table.
- Old Warehouses for maritime trades. These buildings are now used as market places.
- Radisson Blu is one of the high-rise modern hotels hosting travellers from the world. The domes of Riga's Russian Orthodox Church are a;sp seen in this photo.
- Taxi Cabs ready to carry passengers to Riga's expanded international airport.
- airBaltic has its hub in Riga. I was talking with these two airBaltic ladies in the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel. They said their ariline is affiliated with the SAS Scandinavian Airlines.
- Briefed about Riga. While
waiting for a fight from Warsaw to Riga, I was talking with this Latvian
economist. She gave me a brief history lesson about her country.
- Latvian Professionals I met in Cannes, France. They came here from Riga for vacation (June 2006). They have been to the United States, and seem to have a bright future in their country.
- Another Latvian Professional I met at Warsaw's Frederic Chopin Airport in 2008. She claimed that Latvian women are most beautiful in the world. I then asked her whether I can have a photo with her, and she cheerfully agreed. At that time, I was going to Vilnius (Lithuania). She told me I should visit her country also, and I did in 2010.
- American Lady from Chicago. She was born and raised in Riga, but she now lives in Chicago. I was talking with this American lady on the airport bus. She was going back to her home after seeing her relatives in Riga. She was very happy.
- Riga's Opera House. Like
all European cities, the opera house is at the center of the city. There is
a beautiful city park in front of this center of musical art.
- Opera House seen from the Park.
- This Park is clean and serves as an important recreational resource for the people of Riga.
- Flower Garden.
- Mother with her Son adds beauty to the park.
- Sculpture and Pond in front of the Opera House.
- Statue of Well-to-do Citizens in front of the Opera House. Latvians also worship good life.
- Statue of Three Happy Women.
- Statue of Adam and Eve, and Two Young People trying to reproduce this Adam/Eve statue.
- Russian Orthodox Church.
built during the 19th century while Riga was under influence of the Romanov Empire.
Russians left after their 1917 revolution, but Soviets came back after World War II.
Russians constitute about 49 percent of the Latvian population. Many of those
Russians became naturalized to Latvian citizens, but there are still many who are
proud to be Russians.
- Domes of this Church seen with the high-rise Radisson Blu Hotel.
- Russian Item shown in the show window of a Russian gift shop.
- This Russian lady owns her amber shop in Riga. She is very proud of her Russian heritage, and she speaks only Russian and refuses to speak any other language. I cannot speak Russian too well, but managed to communicate with her. She was very happy with me because I bought some items from her.
- Young Russian Professor very proud to be a Russian while living in Riga. I met her at Washington's Dulles International Airport in 2004.
- American Influence.
This photograph of Marilyn Monroe can be seen at many show windows.
- New Yorker. They seem to love New York.
- In one of the McDonald's.
You can meet Young Students at the McDonald's Another Set of students.
- Fridays Restaurant is
another American institution.
- Henry Ford in one of the bank show windows. They do not seem to know Ford never trusted bankers. Here is Benjamin Franklin. They seem to like American 100-dollar bills.
- Ford Cars for Riga taxi cabs. They were assembled in the Russian Baltic city of Kaliningrad. Other popular cars are also assembled there for Russian consumers, but Ford seems to be something to Latvians. Do you know where Kaliningrad is? Click here.
- American Companies doing
business in Riga.
- Pizza House. Italians Invented pizza, but pizza houses are popular worldwide because there are many of them in the United States.
- Sushi is traditional Japanese food, but it is becoming very popular in the United States. Latvians seem to follow this American trend.
- Mikhail Eisenstein was
a very prominent architect in Riga. Most of the traditional buildings were
influenced by him. There are still six buildings originally designed by him.
Let us see some of those buildings.
- One of the Buildings designed by Mikhail Eisenstain.
- Another Building by him.
- This Eisenstein Building is now used as the Hungarian Embassy.
- French Embassy Building was not designed by Eisenstein but it carries his influence.
- Even Communist-era Buildings were influenced by Eisenstein.
- Sergei Eisenstein was his son, and was a creative Soviet film maker.
- Riga as a Museum of Architecture.
- Old Town Buildings.
- Wooden Buildings. Vikings developed the technology of putting wooden pieces together to build ships. The result had to be water-tight. Latvians extended this technology to build wind-tight houses. There are many wooden buildings like this in Riga.
- New National Library being built.
- Samsung Building and Old Churches.
- More Church Buildings.
- Town Center Buildings look like Dutch buildings.
- This Building seems to have its own unique style.
- Communist-era Buildings. There are many of these box-like buildings.
- These Buildings look like toy-land houses.
- One of the Bank Buildings. Latvian seem to be in love with capitalism.
- Animal-shaped Building. Latvians are looking for a new direction in their architecture. In front of this building is an American-style restaurant called "No Problems." Here is the restaurant webpage. I dined there and took this photo of two servers picking up the trays to be delivered to the tables.
- I hope I could add more photos when I have time. Please come again.
Y. S. Kim (2010.7.1)
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copyright@2010 by Y. S. Kim, unless otherwise specified.