My commitment to a humane and peaceful world...
Walter Kohn Quotes
My commitment to a humane and peaceful world continues to this day.
About the author
Born: 9 Mar 1923
Richard P. Feynman
J. Robert Oppenheimer
My present work concerns the problems connected with the theory of elementary particles, the theory of gravitation and cosmology and I shall be glad if I can manage to make some contribution to these important branches of science.
Both now and for always, I intend to hold fast to my belief in the hidden strength of the human spirit.
In and after 1964 when I began to concern myself with the biological issues, and particularly from 1967 onwards, the extent of the problems over which I felt uneasy increased to such a point that in 1968 I felt a compelling urge to make my views public.
For me, the moral difficulties lie in the continual pressure brought to bear on my friends and immediate family, pressure which is not directed against me personally but which at the same time is all around me.
In 1947 I defended my thesis on nuclear physics, and in 1948 I was included in a group of research scientists whose task was to develop nuclear weapons.
Our country, like every modern state, needs profound democratic reforms. It needs political and ideological pluralism, a mixed economy and protection of human rights and the opening up of society.
We should note that this latter type of shift was successfully amplified to a considerable extent by Russian physicists using the intense light of a ruby laser whose wavelength is close to that of a transition of the potassium atom.
I must confess that, at that time, I had absolutely no knowledge of the slowness of the relaxation processes in the ground state, processes which take place in collisions with the wall or with the molecules of a foreign gas.
The main ingredient of the first quantum revolution, wave-particle duality, has led to inventions such as the transistor and the laser that are at the root of the information society.
The development of quantum mechanics early in the twentieth century obliged physicists to change radically the concepts they used to describe the world.