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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bragging Rights

Pictured here is the Millikan Library, named for Robert Andrews Millikan, an experimental physicist who joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology in 1917, back when it was still called the Throop College of Technology. Millikan earned the 1923 Nobel Prize in physics "for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect."

Before you start thinking Millikan was some kind of big deal, get this: more than one in 1,400 Caltech alumni have received the Nobel Prize. That's better than any other university, anywhere. Them's good odds. (Grammar's not a Caltech specialty.)

Other Caltech Nobel laureates include Linus Pauling (who received two Nobel Prizes: the Peace Prize and the Prize for Chemistry), William A. Fowler, Carl D. Anderson and Edward B. Lewis. Oh and a certain Albert Einstein was a visiting Caltech professor back in the day.

It's possible I could have a future Nobel laureate for a neighbor. Seriously. I already have a rocket scientist living across the street.

When I was in college, nerds were not cool. Times change.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Near the opening of the Reese Witherspoon movie Legally Blonde, she rides her bike across that bridge over the reflecting pool.

Bernie K. said...

What are you people implying—that Reese Witherspoon has a Nobel prize??? I haven't seen anything about this in the papers.

Petrea said...

Ah. I knew this post would spark an intellectual discussion.

Lawstude said...

Very impressive building and a nice blog. Feels like im touring pasadena thru ur pics. Have a nice day.

Jim said...

So many smart people went to Caltech, I should have applied there.

I love the picture of the building, very clean.

monoblog said...

I like the way you are furnishing your words into the story; they flow natural and interesting.

Petrea said...

Lawstude, you've got some interesting journeys on your blog, too.

Jim! You should have! Give 'em a run for their money.

Monoblog: Thank you. A compliment from you is highly prized :}

Uma por Dia said...

Hello Petrea, thanks for visiting me. I have seen that I will expend some time in this blog. I dont understand anything about architecture but interested me by the construction or upgrading of buildings which are for certain specific purposes.

Nico said...

I've always liked minimalist architecture.

Also, if you grow up in Pasadena, you already do know a lot of rocket scientists, and this didn't occur to me until you mentioned it in your post. "The geek will inherit the earth," as some have said.

Bernie K. said...

Or (as of one of my Pasadena neighbors), "the experts in cosmic microwave background radiation anisotropy will inherit the Earth."

Or maybe just inherit the Hahawhatsits Dog Wilderness …

Andrée said...

This is one building that is not 100 yrs old that I actually like. I hope it is as comfortable inside.