Napoleon's New Orleans
- Napoleon Bonaparte was confined in the island of St. Helena during his
final years. He died there in 1821.
What was he thinking about? What was his plan after being released from
He was interested in moving to the former French colonial city of New Orleans.
After hearing about Napoleon's plan, the mayor of New Orleans offered his own house to him. Shortly thereafter, Napoleon died in 1821. This house was thus Napoleon's house to be for a month, but the house in New Orleans is still the Napoleon House. It is now used as a restaurant for tourists. Let us look at some photos from this house.
- The restaurant's sign is Napoleonic.
- This restaurant is serving Creole dishes developed by early French settlers.
- Many portraits of important people are hanging on the walls of the dining room.
- Josephine was Napoleon's first wife, and Napoleon was her second husband.
She came from the Island of Martinique not far from New Orleans. Her father
was the owner of a huge sugar plantation in that island, and was an upper-class
When I went to New Orleans with my wife 1995, we stayed in a hotel in the French Quarter. There was a large portrait of Napoleon and Josephine. We thought we could have a photo together in front of these two historical figure.
We asked one of the hotel workers whether she is Napoleon's descendant. She said No but Josephine, indicating that Josephine came from the island of Martinique.
Desirée and Napoleon in Corsica,
Josephine and Napoleon in Paris.
- "Desire" is also a prominent name in New Orleans. According to the official
tour guide, this word came from a French noble man named Desirée who came
to the French colony of Louisiana with many African slaves to develop the
city of New Orleans. This was how the name was explained by a tour guide
on the Mississippi Cruise boat.
I told her that there is a more interesting Desirée. We noted that Napoleon had a number of girl friends. Desirée is the name of his first girlfriend he met at his hometown in Corsica. When she came to Paris to marry Napoleon, she became disheartened to find out Napoleon was deeply in love with a widow named Josephine. Desirée thus had to marry Napoleon's general named Bernadatto, who later was adopted as the crown prince by the king of Sweden who did not have his own children.
Bernadatto became the king of Sweden, and Desirée became the queen. Their son, another king of Sweden, married Josephine's granddaughter. Thus, the present royal family of Sweden consists of descendants of the two ladies very close to Napoleon, namely Desirée and Josephine.
After hearing my story, the tour guide thought I am very smart, and we had this photo together.
- The Desire Oyster Bar is a very popular
spot in the French Quarter of New Orleans. This is
the entrance. Since I like Desirée so much, I had to dine there.
The dining room looks like this.
While there, I met a group of optical engineers who came to New Orleans for their conference. I asked them whether they know who invented coherence states. They said Roy Glauber. I then asked whether they hears about the squeezed state. They said Yes. I asked whether they know who invented the squeezed state. They said No. I then changed the subject and asked them why this restaurant is called Desire. They said the desire is a good English word. I refrained myself from giving a lecture on the history of this word.
from A Street Car named Desire
As you all know, Vivien Leigh appeared as Scarlett O'Hara in the Gone with the Wind.
A Street Car named Desire is a title very familiar to us.
The story was written by Tennessee Williams in 1947, and
its film version was produced in 1951.
Vivien Leigh was
the main figure in this film. The film does not say what the world "desire"
When this film was produced, there was a street car line going though the French Quarter. This line does not exist now. The story is about some humble people living in the French Quarter. Tennessee Williams was living in this area when he wrote the story. It is said that he wrote this story in order to express his own frustration. Williams became famous after writing this story.
Andrew Jackson is on
the 20-dollar bill. He was the 7th president of the United States
(1829 - 1837).
- His statue is at the center of the Lafayette Park in front
of the White House in Washington. The exact copy of this statue is
at the Jackson Square in New Orleans, as you can see from the
- What does Jackson mean to New Orleans and to the United States?
Americans declared their independence from British colonial rule in 1779. In 1812, the British government sent troops to the American continent to reclaim those colonies. They came to Washington and burnt the White House. This aspect is well known.
Britain also sent troops to New Orleans in order to set up the Mississippi waterway to America's middle lands. However, in January of 1815, the American troops destroyed them at a battleground east of New Orleans. The commander of the American army was Major General Andrew Jackson. This was the final decisive battle in the Anglo-American war of 1812-1815. Jackson thus earned his qualification to become the president of the United States in 1929.
Jackson talking with defiant
- During this process, Jackson also had to deal with the problems with
native Americans who did not want relinquish their traditional territories.
It is said that Jackson was too harsh on those native Americans. These days,
Americans are debating about whether the human rights were respected when
Jackson negotiated with them.
Indeed, Andrew Jackson was the key person for the United States to extend its territory to the midwestern region and eventually to the present size. Sometimes, it is said that Jackson was America's Napoleon.
The Mississippi River is one of the most valuable natural resources of the
United States. Of course, native Americans could have developed their own
civilization along this River as Egyptian did along their Nile River, and
Chinese did along their Yellow River. When Europeans came to the Caribbean Sea
and the Mexican Gulf, they found this river as a crucial
transportation route to the heartland of the North American Continent.
The Mississippi between Minneapolis
and St. Paul in Minnesota.
- Let us look at the
map of the Mississippi River from the Wikipedia. The French settlers first set up their community
in New Orleans and Louisiana and extended their influence all the way to Wisconsin
and Minnesota. This is the reason why there are French city names in those areas.
Indeed, there are many books and poems were written about this great river. It is thus inappropriate for me to give a lecture on this subject. However, I would like to tell you some stories not known to many people.
This photo was taken at the starting point of the Ohio River. Two other rivers merge into one river. Next to the water fountain is the former French military outpost called Fort Duquesne which became Fort Pitt after the Franco-Anglican war (1756-63). Here is a close-up view of the Fort.
- The city of Pittsburgh is far away from the Mississippi River, but look at
this map. The French provincial
government of Quebec (in Canada now) set up a military outpost called
Duquesne in Pittsburgh where two rivers converge into one called the
Ohio River. This
river passes through the states of Ohio and Kentucky, and serves as the
boundary between Illinois and Tennessee before merging into the Mississippi.
Thus, the Mississippi served as the communication route between the French provinces of Quebec and Louisiana. How do I know this? I spent my best four years of my life in Pittsburgh as an undergraduate student at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now known as CMU). Click here for my Pittsburgh page. I had some outstanding physics teachers there.
- I think I am the first one to see the correspondence between New Orleans
and the Chinese city of Shanghai. After beaten back by Americans in the
1812 war, the British imperialists turned their attention to China. They
went to China's southern city of Guangzhou (near Hong Kong) and also to
Shanghai, and started selling opium products to Chinese.
These two buildings in Shanghai used to serve as the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (left) and the British Consulate in Shanghai.
Indeed, the Yangtze, which is also called the Long River in China, serves as the waterway to the heartland of China from Shanghai. Among the major cities along this river are Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, and Chongking, corresponding respectively to New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis, and Minneapolis.
The international nature of Shanghai is well known. Chongking is far away from Shanghai and located in the mountainous south-eastern region of China. Chongking served as the capital city while being invaded by Japanese troops from 1937-45. I went there 2014, I took many photos.
- This is a
metal structure depicting Western bandits
who came on a steel ship along the Yangtze River in the 19th Century.
Chongking from Shanghai is as far as Minneapolis is from New Orleans.
The Yangtze River played the role of Mississippi.
- One hundred year later, there was a kinder Westerner who came to
China in 1972. His name is Henry Kissinger. This is a
photo of Kissinger
who had a Yangtze cruise boat. He went there after 1980, because the
caption says "former" secretary of state. I was on the same boat in 2014
to notice this photo.
- On the bank of the River, I spotted
this young lady
looking into her cell phone. I invited her to have
a photo with me, and she cheerfully agreed. We had
this photo. These two photos show a new suspension bridge
across the River.
- In the American Continents, European immigrants constructed the new world. In China, Westerners came and left their influences, but the Chinese are building their own new world. You may click here to see how China is changing.
- This is a metal structure depicting Western bandits who came on a steel ship along the Yangtze River in the 19th Century. Chongking from Shanghai is as far as Minneapolis is from New Orleans. The Yangtze River played the role of Mississippi.
Interesting Stories and Photos from New Orleans
- The city of New Orleans was created by early French settlers who came to a new
land with African slaves. Their idea was to develop their farm land in the
new continent and bring their product to France to make money. These French
people are called Creoles. They lived in the area now called the French Quarter,
- After the
seven years of war between Britain and France, (1756-63). France lost
political control of that area, and Louisiana became a province of Spain in
1762, and remained so until 1800 until Napoleon took back. Napoleon sold
the entire area of Louisiana to the United States. Napoleon needed money to
build his army. This is a sign in the
- The province of Quebec was firmly under French control, but French people in English-speaking provinces were asked to leave after the 7-year war. They had to go to Quebec or come to the French community of New Orleans even though the area was under Spanish control. They are now called Cajuns. They did not get along well with the original settlers called Creoles, but they managed to live in the same area now called the French Quarter.
This sign in Bourbon Street in the French Quarter says Louisiana was under Spanish control from 1762 to 1803. This sign in not accurate. Napoleon took over Louisiana in 1800 and sold the land to the United States.
- After the seven years of war between Britain and France, (1756-63). France lost political control of that area, and Louisiana became a province of Spain in 1762, and remained so until 1800 until Napoleon took back. Napoleon sold the entire area of Louisiana to the United States. Napoleon needed money to build his army. This is a sign in the
- There are many interesting places in the French Quarter. The Napoleon House and the
Desire Oyster House are in this Quarter.
Jackson Square and
St. Louis Cathedral. The Cathedral is facing the Mississippi River.
- This is a photo of the Cathedral I took from the northern bank of the Mississippi.
- I took this photo from a Mississippi river boat.
- Statue of Andrew Jackson at the center of the Jackson Square.
This Cathedral used to be and still is the spiritual center for the French settlers and their descendants, as well as the American Catholic population in New Orleans.
- French Market
is at the eastern corner of the
French Quarter. It has many gift shops selling old French items.
- Entrance to the Market.
- A statue of Jean d'Arc is standing in front of the market place. This is an exact copy of the same statue in Paris.
- This store sells old French symbols.
- Another gift shop selling French things.
- French-style dresses are different.
- It is always fun to meet
interesting people even at market places. I met two ladies. One
from Texas and the other from Washington, DC. I told them I also live
in the DC area, and I thanked the Texan lady for sending good politicians
from Texas. We all laughed.
Bourbon Street is the main pedestrian street in the French Quarter. with many shops, restaurants,
jazz bars. This street is filled with tourists, and you can meet there many
interesting people. The buildings and houses are basically in French style.
However, they seem to have some Spanish touch-ups, since this area was under
Spanish rule for 40 years before 1800 AD.
- Entrance to Bourbon Street from the main business district on Canal Street. This is a view of Canal Street from the Bourbon.
- Police horses are patrolling along the street since cars are not allowed. Tourists love those horses.
- Since there are no cars, people can set up their own
music groups as well as
- The restaurant called Bourbon House seems to be somewhat expensive, but there are many reasonable places to eat, such as the Oyster Bar and Oceana. They all serve excellent sea foods.
- There used to be many jazz bars. They now became rock bars
such as this. The statues at the entrance
tells that this place was originally built for a jazz bar. There
many people enjoying American music.
- You may Google for more images of this exciting street.
Astor Hotel and Entrance to
- Canal Street serves as the western boundary of the French Quarter. Americans
from various places of the United States cane to the City to seek new
opportunities on the West side of this street.
- This street is unusually wide, and there is a good reason. Those French settlers and American new comers did not get along, and there used to be violent fights especially during the nights. Thus, they had to be separated with a demilitarized zone between them.
- This region became the Canal Street. I assume this street is called "Canal" because it runs from the Mississippi River and goes through through the center of the city toward the big lake called Pontchartrain. This street is wide and straight, performing the same function as a canal.
- Here is the entrance to Bourbon street
in the French Quarter.
- This street now serves as the main business
district of New Orleans,
with luxury hotels, high-rise office buildings, department stores,
as well as specialty stores.
- The public transportation along this street is provided by the red/yellow
street cars looking like this, with car
stops like this.
While the street is straight, this photo
shows a curved track. What is this for?
There is another street car line along St. Charles Avenue, which is perpendicular to Canal Street. The street cars on this line make U-turns at Canal Street, and this car is ready to enter the curved track after discharging its passengers. Thus, they have to borrow one block of the Canal Street track before going back to St. Charles line.
The St. Charles street cars are different and appear to be old fashioned. The entire city of New Orleans was served by this old-model cars from 1922 to 1997. In 1997, the City introduced a new model like this with a flat roof, and another model in 1999 with a 19th-century-style roof like this. Click here for a detailed story.
Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans as a grandson of an African slave. During his years (1930-1970), he was as popular as Muhammad Ali. His recordings are still alive and well. The airport of New Orleans called "Louis Armstrong International Airport."
Huge saxophone hanging on the outside wall of the hotel Holiday Inn in the area where jazz music was developed.
- American Jazz was
created in New Orleans. How?
Those early French settlers were Catholics. They believed in God, and they thought
their African slaves were also God's children. Thus, they gave every Saturday
afternoon off. They also offered the option of working on Sundays for wages.
Those slaves opted to work on Sundays for money, but they had their free
time on Saturday afternoon to gather together for song and dance. This is how
the American music of Jazz was developed.
- Louis Armstrong was grandson of one of those African slaves. He produced many beautiful American songs. Let us hear one of them. Like Einstein, many physicists like classical music, and despise Jazz music. However, you will change your mind after hearing Louis Armstrong.
- He had his jazz studio in this building away from the French quarter. I assume therefore that the African slaves lived in this area.
- This Holiday Inn hotel is in the same area. It is decorated by a huge saxophone, asserting that this area is the jazz capital of the world.
- There used to be many jazz cafes along Bourbon street. For understandable reasons, they all became rock cafes. Yet, there are still many jazz bands on the streets of New Orleans. They are like this.
- Photos from the Mississippi River Cruise Boat. There are two major
Mississippi cruise boat companies in New Orleans. One of them is
called Creole Queen, and the other is
Steamboat Natchez. I was one
of them when I went there in May of 2016, I took a number of photos.
- The Creole Queen seen from its dock.
- Two young ladies from New Orleans (not visitors) were kind enough to have a photo with me, in front of a Mardi-Gras character at the dock side.
- Three flags on the boat for the United States, Louisiana, New Orleans, and the United States again.
- Paddle wheels of the boat. They push
the boat forward, and sometimes backward.
- Crescent City Connection across the River is one of the longest bridges in the word. This photo from the public domain is taken from a helicopter.
- The skyline of the city viewed from the boat.
- The Cathedral of St. Louis seen from the boat.
- Flood prevention works added to the river bank.
- The Mississippi seems to be an important river even from the military point of view. I took this photo two naval ships. They seem to be oil tankers for the U.S. Navy.
- Of course, the Mississippi is an important waterway for
America's industry. This barge seems to carry
- Two barges are being pushed by one engine boat. They seem to carry many containers.
- Wherever I go, I enjoy talking with interesting people. These two senior citizens came from Australia. They came to see New Orleans and the Mississippi in spite of their difficulty in walking. They were quite proud of the Sydney Opera House.
- These two American sisters came from Los Angeles in order to make their mother happy. Very nice ladies. I also had a photo with their mother.
- Two barges are being pushed by one engine boat. They seem to carry many containers.
- Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral. The Cathedral is facing the Mississippi River.
Street Cars of New Orleans
- When I went to New Orleans in 1995, I noticed the street cars looking like
those I used to ride in Seoul (Korea) before I came to the United States in 1954.
Those Korean street cars had compressed-air brakes. The brake system consists of
an air compressor, air tank, brake calipers. The pressure in the air tank is
constant, but the pressure in the caliper is controlled by the pressure valve
hand-controlled by the operator of the street car. When the compressor was running,
it makes loud noise sounding like "dalak-dalak-dalak---,"
and the compressor stops when the air pressure reaches the desired level.
Those street cars in Korea were manufactured by Japan's Mitsubishi Company, and they
were brought into Korea before 1935.
I knew that some of the earlier models of those Mitsubishi cars in Korea had the speed controllers with the GE logo, and I assumed that Mitsubishi copied the technology from the General Electric Company of the United States.
The cover of this circuit breaker says it is made by the General Electric Company. One of the new street cars in New Orleans. I was not interested in them.
- Thus, I concluded that both Mitsubishi and New Orleans street cars were designed
by the General Electric engineers. I should then find the trade mark indicating
some parts of the New Orleans car from the General Electric. I looked at the speed
controller of the New Orleans car, but it does not say who made it. I then looked
at everything else in the car, and I noticed that the circuit breaker
hanging above the front window
had a cover saying "General Electric Company." It became very
happy. It was like finding a research result as I expected.
When I went to New Orleans again in May of 2016, I saw new Street cars
presumably with high-tech speed controllers and brake units, but I was not
interested in those high-tech things. I was interested in whether the city
still has those old street cars.
This 100-year-old transportation system is now one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is providing excellent service to the residents of New Orleans.
Residential area along the St. Charles line.
- When I was 12 years old in Korea, I was intensely interested in the
same kind of noise. After spending several months, I figured out that the brake
system works like this.
When I was 12 years old, I knew how tires are inflated, and how the bullet gains its speed inside the rifle. I even figured out how the M1 Garand of the U.S. Army reloads itself. Yet, I did not have the concept of pressure. Indeed, I was a very dangerous engineer.
- Before Herman von Helmholtz (1847), people did physics without the concept
of energy conservation. Leonard da Vinci invented many machines which violated
the conservation of energy. Because his inventions did not work, he decided to become
For many centuries, astronomers believed that the orbits of the sun or planets were perfect circles even though the geometry of ellipse was readily available.
Question. Are they two different limiting cases of the same Lorentz-covariant entity? Click here.
- These days, the proton is a bound state of the quarks.
When Einstein and Bohr got together, they could have talked about moving
hydrogen atoms in the Lorentz-covariant world. But they did not because moving
hydrogen atoms were unthinkable at that time.
The situation is quite different these days. The proton is a bound state like the hydrogen atom. The high-energy accelerators produce proton moving with the speed very close that of light.
Yes, we have been making efforts to understand those protons with relativistic speed, and there are millions of papers written on the subject. Yet, most of the authors write their papers without the very essential concept of Lorentz covariance.
It is just like for a 12-year-old boy trying to understand how the compressed air bake works without the concept of pressure. Am I insulting my colleagues in high-energy physics? No. I am not the first one to say this. I am simply translating what Paul A. M. Dirac told me in 1962. Dirac does not insult anyone, but he simply tells us the truth.
My grandson is going to become a physicist.
- We all respect Richard Feynman. Dirac was talking about him in 1962. Let us
one of Feynman's papers published in 1971. Feynman wrote this paper with his
students, but he should be responsible for what is right and what is wrong in the
Feynman was right for telling us to use harmonic oscillators instead of Feynman diagrams for understanding quantum bound states. On the other hand, Feynman was totally lost on the issue of Lorentz covariance. Dirac met Feynman in Poland three months before I heard from him about the concept of Lorentz covariance. Click here for a story about Dirac and Feynman in Poland.
- We all know where Feynman stands in modern physics. It is not enough to say
he was wrong. You have to correct his mistake. For this purpose, I wrote a paper
with my co-authors and submitted it to the Journal of Mathematical Physics in 1978.
The first reference was of course the above-mentioned paper by Feynman et al.
However, the referee told us to delete this reference because that paper turns the history of physics backward. In essence, he was saying the paper is "dangerous." We thus had to deleted the reference even though we started the paper with the same set of differential equations as given in Feynman's paper. The referee at that time was Lawrence Biedenharn, and the editor was Morton Hammermesh. Both of them were no-nonsense mathematical physicists. Click here for the paper which appeared in JMP in January of 1979.
Biedenharn and Hammermesh in Moscow (1990).
- Enjoy your summer months. I am leaving next for Europe to sped three weeks
there. I expect to see you some of you. Enjoy your summer months!!
I have many more photos from New Orleans. I will post them when I have time. Please come again.