I’ve been working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab for a year now, and I wanted to get drawings from the two Nobel prizes that are still active in the lab : George Smoot (N2006) and Saul Perlmutter (N2011).They both proved very difficult to find, since they are often travelling. But today, the day before Thanksgiving, I was particularly in luck : I spotted these two guys at the cafeteria !The time I came back to my office to grab my notebook, Saul Perlmutter was gone, but George Smoot was still here !
I asked him to draw me a picture of the Cosmic Microwave Background. Here’s the result :
However, Saul Perlmutter had left. But… I knew where his office was. I went there; we talked a little bit.
A little earlier on, my friend Josquin told me that I would rather ask him a picture of a Supernova, probably easier to draw that the idea of universe expansion. Saul told me that this picture wouldn’t be personal, since his mind has been infused by the commonly accepted picture, and proposed to draw me a chart of the accelerating universe :
There we go ! (You can check my collection of noble drawings here)Last month, I had the occasion to attend Uncharted, advertised as the local SXSW, thanks to a scholarship.This was a great two-day event were ideas merged, with a broad range of high quality speakers (Vivek Wadwha, Sean Gourley, Carl Bass, Markos Moulitsas, etc. )It took me some time to realized that I could ask some of the speakers to get a drawing. I first tried to get to Wadwha, but he was very busy all the time, so I couldn’t get one.
However, I was able to get a drawing from IO9‘s editor Annalee Newitz, whose talk was about evolution :
Finally, at the evening party, I met Joshua Bloom. Since we were in Berkeley having drinks, that my favorite beer at Jupiter is the Quasar and because he’s a professor of astronomy, he drew me this :
That’s not a lot a drawing, but it’s better than nothing !Finally, I had the occasion to assist a conference by Cleve Moler, the founder of Matlab and one of the main contributor of LINPACK, a cornerstone in computational linear algebra. I’ve asked him to draw me his favorite matrix :
He then asked me with matrix it was. I couldn’t tell… then he typed “magic(3)” on his Matlab Command window, and that was the result :
>> magic(3)ans =8 1 6
3 5 7
4 9 2
It is a Magic Square of dimension 3 ! He then asked me what were the eigenvalues of this matrix. My brain being a bit rusty, I didn’t realized that the very property of this matrix is that the sum of all rows and colunm give the same number, leading to an obvious solution !Now, I’m looking for an occasion to get a drawing from Steven Chu, to add to my collection !
That should be manageable, since I’m staying at the lab for one more year !