Construction of the
Princeton Genealogy of
- Even though I was away from Princeton, I used to think the ultimate
wisdom in physics comes from Princeton. However, in 1965, I realized that
Princeton is not necessarily the holy place in physics.
Click here for my explanation.
After this incident, I decided to develop my own research line. When I
was at Princeton, Eugene Wigner (1902-95) was No. 2 man there,
only after Albert Einstein. Wigner received his Nobel prize in 1963, but
not for 1939 paper, providing the mathematical framework for internal
space-time symmetries for particles with space-time extensions, such
as the hydrogen atom and the proton in the quark model.
- In order to find my own way, I continued studying this paper.
My friends told me I was wasting time for worrying about this worthless paper,
because Wigner did not get the Nobel prize for this paper. Indeed, it was
a great opportunity for me to transform into a historical document.
- The Massive particle has three internal degrees of freedom. They correspond
to the spin of the particle. The massless particle has only two degrees
of freedom, namely its helicity and the unobservable gauge transformation.
Wigner's 1939 paper explains the massive particle, but not the massless
- Einstein's energy-momentum relation for massive particles becomes that
of massless particles when in the high-speed/small-mass limit. Does Wigner's
three spin degrees of freedom for the massive particle become the helically
and gauge degrees of freedom in the high-speed/small-mass limit, as in the
case of Einstein's energy-momentum relation?
- One hundred years ago, Bohr was interested in the hydrogen atom, leading to
the present form of quantum mechanics. Einstein was interested in how
things look to moving observers. Then, how would Bohr's hydrogen atom
appear to moving observers?
We have to answer these three questions to make Wigner's 1939 paper a historical
document. It was not an easy task, but I am proud to tell you that I carried
out this task.
- I published enough papers with my younger colleagues, namely
D. Han and D. Son, on the issues
1 and 2.
Contents of Einstein's E = mc2
| E = p2/2m
(m2 + p2)1/2
| E = cp
This table is from from
the 1986 paper I published with my younger colleagues.
I then went to Princeton, and showed this table to Professor
Wigner. He became very happy, and agreed to publish papers
with me. Indeed, we finalized the first two issues by publishing two papers: one
in 1987 and the other in
1990. The issue is to extend
Einstein's energy-momentum relation to the internal space-time symmetries.
- In approaching Wigner, I used a piece of Korean wisdom.
Let us look at the following pictures.
Chung Il-Kwon talking to President Rhee, and Kim with Wigner (1986).
Rhee Seungman was Korea's first president. He always wanted to hear
the stories he wanted to hear. Otherwise, you were out!
Chung Il-Kwon was a young officer in the Korean army. He had a talent
of telling Rhee the stories he wanted to hear. As the army chief, Chung was
the most influential man during the Korean War and during the
after-war constructional process. I followed Chung's example when
I approached Wigner. I told Wigner what he wanted to hear.
- Here is the story I told him.
In 1963, Wigner received the Nobel prize in physics. However, the prize
was not for his 1939 paper on his little groups
governig the internal space-time symmetry of particles in Einstein's relativistic
world. The reason was that the physics world did not understand fully the
implications of this paper. Wigner became very happy whenever I talked about
his 1939 paper.
- The best way to illustrate Einstein's
relativity is to use the following figures.
Toyotomi Hideyosi is an important figure in Japanese history. He unified
Japan by brutally eliminating his rival warlords. He built his Osaka Castle
and lived there with many wives and concubines.
He is known as "Pungsin Soogil" in Korea. After unifying Japan, he appointed himself
as the Emperor of the World. At his time, the Emperor of the World was the emperor of
China in Beijing. In order to crown himslef as the Emperor, he asked Koreans to
provide a safe pass to China. However, Koreans said Nyet. He then sent his troops
to Korea to slaughter Koreans and burn down houses for seven years (1592-98). Later,
it took for Koreans 100 years to reconstruct their country,
- In Japan, he is known as "O-Saru San" (Mr. Monkey). Indeed, he is a monkey
if humans look at him, but he is a human if monkeys look at him.
Here comes Einstein. How would he look to observers on a moving train?
If the human body is too complicated, let us choose the hydrogen atom.
During the early years of the 20th Century, Niels Bohr was worrying about the hydrogen atom, while
Einstein was interested in how things look to moving observers. They met
occasionally to discuss physics. If they talked about moving hydrogen atoms,
there are no written record on this issue.
The question then is whether the Bohr-Einstein issue of the hydrogen
can be interpreted in terms of the scientific language Wigner
constructed in 1939. The answer is YES. Let us look at this figure:
This figure indicates most of the ground works were done by Paul A. M. Dirac,
and I had an audience with him in 1962.
I respect him and his writings are like poems. However, there are no
figures in his books or papers. I translated his writings and formulas into
pictures. Then, it is easy to integrate them.
- So far, we did mathematics. In physics, the most cruel test is to see
whether this mathematical shows up in the real world. The answer is Yes.
Click here for explanations.
In 1978, with my younger colleagues, I wrote a paper saying that Wigner's
1939 paper plays an essential role in studying moving quantum bound states,
like the hydrogen atom or the proton in the quark model. I submitted
this paper to the Journal of Mathematical Physic in late 1978, and
it appeared in the Journal in early 1979.
Here is the paper. This paper allows me to add the third row to
the Einstein-Wigner table given above.
Further Contents of Einstein's
E = mc2
| E = p2/2m
E=(m2 + p2)1/2
| E = cp
This table was published in my paper of 1989.
Click here for further contents of this table.
- Let us translate this table into the plain language:
- OK. The genealogy is now complete. Click here
for 100 years of the history of physics.
- Both Einstein and Wigner came from Europe. Their way of thinking was
heavily influenced by two philosophical giants named
Immanual Kant and
Georg W. H. Hegel.
As you know, American philosophy is money. Kant and Hegel are strange
names on American campuses.
How about Korean philosophy?
Even if you do not know anything about Kant or Hegel, you have to
pretend to know about them in order to prove you are an educated person
in Korea. I think I know something about them.
Indeed, the above figure consists of three Kant-Hegelianists.
- Click here to see how I talked to Einstein.
- Einstein is an important historical figure known to everybody in the world.
If I keep singing Einstein, the public media pay attention to me.
- This is the cover of
the magazine published by
IAOTP, International Association of Top Professionals.
Let us listen to what they say about me. This video says:
One hundred years ago, Niels Bohr was worrying about the electron orbit of the
hydrogen atom, leading to quantum mechanics. Albert Einstein was interested
in how things look to moving observers. Then the question is how the hydrogen
atom appears to moving observers. Bohr and Einstein met occasionally, but they
never discussed this problem. This
video says I am the one who settled this issue. Go back to the
image given above.
- Toward the end, this video says I had a strong high-school background
before coming to the United States from Korea in 1954.
- Marquis Who's Who is the most
prestigious company in the world for personal biographies. Let us see
what they say about me.
Let us hear what they say about me.
- Wall Street Journal 2021.
- Fortune Magazine 2021.
- Millenium Magazine 2021.
- Marquis Timeline.
- American Way.
- Hemisphere Magazin:
- Here is the list of my publications. You will
note that I have been talking about Einstein in recent years. The world
"Lorentz group means the mathematics Einstein used to formulate his theory
- Awards and Recognitions