Friday, October 27, 2006


Duke Kahanamoku was an Olympic swimming champion and a hero to us islanders. He popularised our Hawaiian sport of surfing around the world. At age 20, in an amateur meet, he broke the world record for the 100-meter freestyle. This feat by an islander was so surprising that the athletic union didn't recognise it for years. He won Olympic medals for the US in 1912, 1920 and 1924.

Between Olympics he gave surfing displays around the world. His exhibition in Sydney on December 23, 1914 is regarded as the start of Australian surfing. A statue of Duke stands at Freshwater Beach north of Manly. Thanks to the Duke, Queensland's Coast is home to Surfer's Paradise. He worked as a film actor in Hollywood, like yours truly. While living in Newport Beach, he single-handedly rescued 8 people from a sinking boat using his board.

Future generations will wonder why this planet was called "Earth," since it is mostly covered by water. If one grew up on an island, it is obvious that we are surrounded by the sea. Pacific navigators colonised the islands from Asia to Hawaii in a process that took centuries. That is a natural model for exploring other solar systems.

As we have seen many times, waves are important to physics and astronomy. The imprint of waves in the CMB can determine whether inflation happened or a changing speed of light. Maxwells equations show that visible light, infrared and gamma radiation are all electromagnetic waves. Contributor Nigel has explored the waves in nuclear explosions. Waves touch us in sound and in the tides. The effect of tides on the Moon is one more clue that c has changed.

Because sound waves travel in air and water waves through water, it was long assumed that light travelled through some medium. Since light travels throughout the Universe, this ether was presumed to be invisible and fill all Space. just like "dark energy." Maxwell himself believed that Earth travelled through ether like a ship through water. The inference of an invisible ether lasted until Einstein introduced Special Relativity.

In 1924, while Duke was competing with Johnny Weismuller in the Olympics, a graduate student named Louis de Broglie suggested that electrons also took the form of waves. Their wavelength is given by the relation h/p. De Broglie published this simple relation in an extremely short PhD thesis. His thesis would have been rejected outright except for the support of Albert Einstein. Einstein also nominated De Broglie for the Nobel Prize in 1929--nice to have friends like that.

As the divine Kea has divined, I have been working on a book. The book will contain just one equation, but answer many questions about the Universe. Would anyone want my picture on a book cover? We will find out.


Blogger nige said...

Hi Louise,

That kind of picture would be very nice on a book cover.

I did swimming at school until 12 (getting to the stage of swimming about 5 m) but then went to a school with no pool and no pool visits. Next time I had to swim, was when I had finished a wind surfing course in Fuerteventura and went out by myself without lifejacket. Was rescued!


10:51 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Wonderful post! My mum lives right near Freshwater, and my brother's family up near Newport. Gorgeous photo, but I'd put that one on the jacket and have the front one of those incredibly beautiful nebulae shots.

12:45 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

I appreciate your reactions; hopefully a publisher will think the same. We need more science books written by women. We also need to defend women's rights to be educated or wear a swimsuit.

I had not heard the quote from the freaky sheik about Surfer's Paradise. His comments are disgusting, anti-woman, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic. The 1.5% of Australians who are Muslim don't need someone like that.

7:34 AM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Hi Louise,
love your picks of Celestial bodies
This 1 must be as close to heaven as hubble telescope has ever seen

Glad 2 see you having fun in da Sun

6:37 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

BTW, I appreciate all your useful comments. Though we don't all agree on everything, we respect one another's opinion.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

You are very kind, Louise. I hope something happens soon before this gets too frustrating. Woit seems to have relented a little about deleting my comments.

2:21 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Kea, I've been having fun with Communist Variance. Let's see how they react.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

I can't believe it! They deleted your comment!

9:46 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

As they say in Brooklyn, these guys got no sensayuma. It is amazing how much Sean and others hate yours truly. Is it because they have invested their careers and reputations on "dark energy" and I can show it doesn't exist?

5:46 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

I don't think they mind too much about Dark Energy...but they are probably a bit upset that GR has been demoted.

1:12 PM  
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6:27 PM  

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