Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Good friend Ralph Stevens has gone

Posted: 3 December 2019
Updated: 8 Dec 19

Ralph Robert Stevens, Jr.
Career nuclear physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Good friend Ralph Stevens has gone. At age 88, he was unable to recover from severe injuries after a freak auto accident last October. I will miss him dearly, especially his fine, open mind and our stimulating far-out conversations!

I am boundlessly grateful that Ralph, as a LANL retired nuclear physicist, allowed me (perhaps with tongue in cheek!) to add his name to my uncertainty corollary to Heisenberg's classic uncertainty principle that revolutionized physics in 1925. Here are those equations that occupied many intense, far-ranging conversations and application possibilities.

The Uncertainty Equations

Origin of equation 2.
4 Dec 19. Recalling the origin of my original equation (without Ralph's subscript i), which popped into my mind in late October 1965 in response to a question that the late screen actor Eddie Albert asked me during breakfast on the backyard deck of his home in southern California. Albert and I had met the year before at Duke University in Professor JB Rhine's parapsychology laboratory, during which Albert had given me his card and asked me to call sometime. [See: http://orthodoxodyssey.blogspot.com/1974/11/j-b-rhines-invitation-to-join-frnm.htmlThis California meeting was a follow up on that invitation. While enjoying the beauty of the morning on his backyard deck and garden, Albert casually asked me to explain why one side of his garden was so alive and beautiful with lush flowers and bushes, while the on the other side the plants were ugly and grotesque, even though his professional gardeners treated both sides equally. He then explained that every morning for months (if not years) he would pray, bless and love the blossoming side, then turn to the other side to rage and curse everything growing there. When my equation spontaneously came to mind in response, he immediately understood, smiled, and simply said "thank you!"  As I left his home on my way north, he shouted after me "LIVE!"

Some years later (2009), while reading physicist/psychologist friend Arnold Mindell's magnum opus Quantum Mind; the Edge between physics and psychology, I came across his description of how difficult it was for him at times to explain certain experiences to his students. On September 4, 2009, I sent him a note with my equation, to which he immediately responded:

Kovalenko says ∆Σ ● ∆E ≈ K
And he is BRILLIANT!!!
Love arny

Needless to say, I was delighted!