Sixty Years Since 1962
Physics faculty photo of Spring 1963 (during my first year at the University).
I am the youngest person in this photo.
- In 1962, I came to the Greater Washington area to become an assistant professor
of physics at the University of Maryland. The campus is 25 km north of the White House.
In 2007, I became a Professor Emeritus (without teaching duties) and am writing books and
articles. I can travel around the world wihout time restrictions,
and I enjoy meeting interesting people.
Click here for
the photos from the world.
- In 1962, Paul A. M. Dirac (Nobel 1933) visited the University of Maryland
for one week, and I was assigned to be a personal assistant (servant) to him.
I learned his physics
directly from him. I was like Nicodemus meeting Jesus (story from
the Gospel of John in the New Testament). I was born again, and I was able
to develop my own research line
I still follow.
Dashen made this bad calculation in 1965, but he never admitted his
- In 1965, while I was struggling to find out myself, the physics community produced
the genius of the century named Roger Dashen who calculated the mass the neutron-proton
mass difference. He was appointed as a full professor at Princeton's Institute for
Advanced Study (Einstein's place until he died in 1955).
I have my Herod complex, and
become uneasy when I hear someone (other than myself) is a genius. I had to prove
his published papers were wrong, and I published my papers saying so.
Click here for a detailed story.
However, the reaction from the American physics community became hostile to me.
My colleagues and teachers told me
Dashen is a genius, but you are a Korean.
This was a very valid statement in the United States at that time, but
the statement consists of two totally independent comments. The question
is whether the word "Korean" has anything to do with being a genius or
While I was at Princeton (1958-62) as a graduate student and a postdoc,
my friends routinely told me
My only possible response was to remain silent.
- You are an oriental boy. You cannot speak logically.
- Koreans cannot run their own country. The best solution is
to give the country back to Japan.
Not many Americans know the history of that area before the
Pearl Harbor Day of 1941.
- The orientals do not have brains to make nuclear bombs.
It is safe to say that this kind of thinking was the cause of
the present problem with North Korea's nuclear bombs.
In spite of those noises, the United States has been very nice to me.
This country rewards those who work hard with talends, and I worked hard.
What talents? from the Widom of Korea.
Not many people know Dashen was a genius, but I was and still am
a Korean boy. Korea has a long history, and Koreans take genealogy very
seriously. With my Korean background, I constructed and believe in
Indeed, my colleagues in the same department made their best efforts
to find out whether Dashen was right or I was right.
They found out the truth. This is the reason why I still have my
office at the University, and I still publish my articles and books
with the university address.
The United States has been very nice to me.
The fact that Princeton made this tragic misjudgment is known as the
and this incident inflicted a serious damage to Princeton's reputation.
Yet, Princeton, with the prestige established during the Einstein era, kept
producing excitements by producing new words (not necessarily new physics).
The latest word from Princeton was the String Model or String Theory. I do
not know what happened to these string stuff.