Hannes Alfven at Rice University ~1973 - click for larger image

Hannes Alfvén won a Nobel prize in physics (1970), but always considered himself an electrical engineer. He is perhaps most remembered today for his astrophysical studies of antimatter --- which he postulated might exist elsewhere in the cosmos in roughly the same amounts as ordinary matter, kept separate by layers of highly ionized gases plus magnetic fields. Alfvén's plasma cosmology was a variety of Steady State universe, in competition with the Big Bang hypothesis. Alas, evidence gathered during the past few dozen years makes his theory seem rather unlikely, æsthetic as it might be to have complete large-scale symmetry between matter and antimatter.

Around 1973 Alfvén visited Rice University where I caught him making a point during one of his lectures. (The photo was taken on 8mm Tri-X film with a subminiature Yashica Atoron camera; click on the image for a higher resolution version.)

Hannes Alfvén (1908-1995) --- anti-materialist

(see also FredHoyle (25 Sep 2004), ...)

TopicScience - TopicProfiles - TopicPersonalHistory - 2004-10-16

(correlates: HansBethe, FredHoyle, HuntingSeason, ...)