Monday, November 19, 2007

I was saddened to hear from Sean Carroll that Harvard physicist Sydney Coleman passed away. He was kind enough some years back to let me interview him for a piece on quantum physics for the American Spectator (Chris Caldwell was an editor there at the time) that, alas, was never published.

Coleman was a realist in the best sense of the word, and he had a great sense of humor. One of my favorite quotes from him occurred during the 1989 World Science Fiction convention in Boston. On a panel about quantum physics, he said,
"If you mentioned quantum physics at a cocktail party ten years ago, everyone would leave the room. More recently a woman approached me and said, 'Isn't quantum physics just what Eastern mystics have been saying for the last two thousand years?' I had to summon every ounce of dignity and told her, 'No.!'

"Reality is still blue, and clouds fly through it."
God rest his soul.