Sunday, November 22, 2009

The dearly departed and his genius

After having vented my wrath upon the irrational (see previous post), it's time I moved to a more soothing and venerated subject: great men and their unfortunate recent passing.

Albert V. Crewe died recently. He was the physicist who invented the high-resolution electron microscope, allowing the world to get its first glimpse of the atom!! Mr. Crewe stunningly never won the Nobel prize for his work, for whatever political reasons, but he revolutionized entire scientific fields by giving scientists and engineers in computing and biology a powerful new tool to understand the architecture of everything from living tissue to metal alloys.

Mr. Crewe was not known for wearing baggy pants halfway down his butt crack. He was not known for car-jacking, home invasions or convenience-store robberies. He was not known for doing drugs. He was not known for seeking handouts on street corners. He was not known for demanding food, shelter or free health care.

He was known for a grand work ethic, total dedication to tasks, inventiveness, clinical reasoning, improved lens and detection technologies, designing enhanced electron sources, revolutionizing the world of the minute that had, till then, been the object of correct supposition going back 2 and half millennia.

His name should be known by all humans above all presidents. He is venerated by a small community of thankful scientists. He was a genius and got complete satisfaction in doing his work, never complaining about prizes not awarded.

I'll give him the greatest compliment I can give.

He was a man.

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