Awards and Recognitions
- for Young Suh Kim
Professor of Physics Emeritus,
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.
- People say this and that about me, but I am the person who can tell most
accurately the story about myself. In order to see my ability and
limitations, let us look at this bridge:
Two mountains in physics.
Bohr and Einstein (1925). Photo from the public domain.
- One hundred years ago, Niels Bohr was intensely interested in the electron orbit
of the hydrogen atom, while Albert Einstein was worrying about how things appear to
a moving observer or how they appear to the observer at rest when they flying with
speed comparable with that of light. Their concerns became, respectively, quantum
mechanics and special theory of relativity.
- Bohr and Einstein met occasionally to discuss physics. Then, did they talk
about moving hydrogen atoms?
- If they did, there are no written records to indicate their discussion.
- I am not the first person to raise this question. Many distinguished physicists
worried about this question of moving bound states, including the hydrogen atom, in
Einstein's Lorentz-covariant world.
- Click here for three of the most distinguished names.
- 100 years years of continuous history since Bohr and
- I was able to synthesize their works to construct one picture of moving bound states.
For this job, did I have to develop a new mathematics? No. I used the mathematics
I learned during my high-school years in Korea (1951-54), as shown in this figure:
- I came to the United States in 1954 after my high-school graduation in Korea.
At that time, Korea was regarded as one of the hopeless countries with the total
destruction from the war (1950-53). Korea now is one of the ten (8th or 10th) most
advanced countries in the world. Then, what was the dynamics behind this transformation?
The answer is very simple. Koreans believe in the education of their children.
Even during the destructive war years (1950-53), Koreans kept educating their children
in their high schools. Those boys and girls produced the miracle of transforming
their country. I am a product of this educational system, and I am thankful high
school and to my teachers.
- However, this does not mean Korea's secondary educational system is perfect. Koreans
still think public or government-supported schools are superior to private schools.
They still could not think their schools, either public or private, can be improved by
contributions made by their graduates, while this idea is a common sense in the United
States. Harvard, Princeton, and Yale? They became great universities thanks to the
contributions made by their alumni.
I am very happy to tell you I made my contribution to Korea along this direction.
See the following images.
My high school was set up in 1946, without history when I was a student (1948-54).
The history was ours to make. God gave us the empty land as His best gift.
- My high school has a short history. It took many years for some of our graduates to
reach the position of commanding large sums of money. These days, they seem to enjoy
investing some of their fortunes to their high school. I am very happy to have contributed
this idea of alumni contribution, as you can see from this image:
My Princeton Background
- On March 12, 1958, during my senior year at the Carnegie Institute of Technology
in Pittsburgh, I received a letter from Princeton University telling me that I am
one of the 15 students admitted to their graduate program in physics. This was the
happiest day in my life. Going to Princeton meant meeting Albert Einstein, even
though he died there in 1955.
I went there in July of 1958 and routinely followed their program to get my PhD
degree in 1961. I was asked to stay there for one additional year as postdoc.
In 1962, I became an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, near
the city of Washington, DC. (capital city of the United States).
While preparing a paper for publication (Princeton 1961).
While I was at Princeton, I noticed something wrong there. Among the professors
there, Eugene Paul Wigner (1902-1995, Nobel 1965) was totally isolated from the rest
of the of the department. They said Wigner is gone. Yet, I started studying
his 1939 paper on internal space-time symmetries
of elementary particles, and continued studying the same paper after I came to the
University of Maryland in 1962.
In 1966, I studied this 1939 paper more aggressively after finding out Wigner was isolated
from the rest of Princeton, not because of Wigner, but because the rest of Princeton
was not smart enough to understand this paper.
Click here for a detailed story.
- In 1983, with my younger Korean colleagues, I published a paper containing this table:
Contents of Einstein's E = mc2
| E = p2/2m
(m2 + p2)1/2
| E = cp
This table clearly defines Wigner's coordinate in Einstein's world.
Click here for a detailed story.
When I showed this table to Professor Wigner, he became very happy and asked me
to publish papers with him, and I published seven papers with him. Thus I became
known as Wigner's student, even though my thesis advisor was
- After establishing myself as Wigner's student, I became politically strong
enough (very unfortunate word) to publish a
paper in Physical Review Letters
(most prestigious journal in physics) containing this table:
Further Contents of Einstein's
E = mc2
| E = p2/2m
E=(m2 + p2)1/2
| E = cp
Click here for further contents of this table.
- The blue row in this table is based on the earlier papers I published mostly with
Marilyn Noz on how the same proton is regarded as a quantum bound state of Gell-Mann's
quarks when it is at rest, while it appears like a collection of Feynman's partons when
it moves with the speed close to that of light.
- This table allows me to construct this genealogy of Princeton:
- Click here for further jusrification of this table.
copyright@2022 by Y. S. Kim, unless otherwise specified.
- Click here for my home page.
- Princeton page.
- Travel around the World.
- Einstein page.
- Style page.
- I received my PhD degree from Princeton in 1961, seven years after
high school graduation in 1954. This means that I did much of the
ground work for the degree during my high school years.
Furthermore, I claim that I fixed up a soft spot in Einstein's theory of relativity using
the mathematics I learned during my high-school years (1952-53), that means during
the war years of the Korean War (1950-53).
- Click here for my high-school diary.