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Sekazi Mtingwa

Research physicist and physics professor Sekazi K. Mtingwa was born on October 20, 1949 in Atlanta, Georgia. After receiving his B.S. degrees in physics and pure mathematics (Phi Beta Kappa) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1971, Mtingwa enrolled at Princeton University and graduated from there with his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in theoretical high energy physics in 1976. Mtingwa was awarded doctoral fellowships from the National Fellowships Fund and the Ford Foundation. Upon graduation, he was awarded post-doctoral fellowships and research assistantships at the University of Rochester, the University of Maryland at College Park, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab).

In 1981, Mtingwa joined Fermilab as a research physicist where he, along with James Bjorken, developed a theory of particle beam dynamics, “intrabeam scattering,” which standardized the performance limitations on a wide class of modern accelerators. Mtingwa also played an important role in the design and construction of two of the Antiproton Source accelerator systems at Fermilab that were used in the discovery of the top quark and other particles. During 1988-1991, Mtingwa joined the staff of Argonne National Laboratory where he performed research on a futuristic accelerator concept called wakefield acceleration. In 1991, Mtingwa joined the faculty at North Carolina A & T State University as Chair and Professor of physics. Mtingwa was named J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Physics at Morgan State University in 1997 and then returned to North Carolina A & T State University in 1999. He served as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor of Physics at MIT from 2001 to 2003. He joined the faculty at Harvard University in 2003, where he served as Visiting Professor of Physics for two years. Returning to MIT in 2006, Mtingwa was named Lead Physics Lecturer in the Concourse Program in the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education. He was also appointed as the Faculty Director of Academic Programs in the Office of Minority Education. In 2011, he became Principal Partner of Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development, LLC and he was appointed Senior Physics Consultant at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

In addition to his research activities, Mtingwa is involved in a number of national and international initiatives. He is a founder of the African Laser Centre (ALC) and was the principal author of the Strategy and Business Plan upon which the ALC is based. In 1977, Mtingwa was a co-founder of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and served as NSBP President from 1992 to 1994.

Mtingwa has been recognized by national and international organizations for his contributions to science. In 1996, he received the Outstanding Service Award for Contributions to the African American Physics Community from the National Society of Black Physicists. The National Council of Ghanaian Associations honored Mtingwa with the Science Education Award in 2007 for advancing science education among African peoples. Mtingwa was inducted into the African American Biographies Hall of Fame in 1994, and he was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2008.

Sekazi Mtingwa is married to W. Estella Johnson; they have two daughters.

Research physicist and physics professor Sekazi K. Mtingwa was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.076

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/6/2013

Last Name

Mtingwa

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Kauze

Occupation
Schools

Princeton University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Henry McNeal Turner High School

Alonzo F. Herndon Elementary

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sekazi

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

MTI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

Stay yourself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

10/20/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hillsborough

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sea Bass (Mediterranean)

Short Description

Nuclear physicist Sekazi Mtingwa (1949 - ) contributed to the design and construction of the accelerator systems used in the discovery of the top quark at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Mtingwa is a founder of the National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, and he has made significant contributions to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Harvard University

North Carolina A&T State University

Morgan State University

Argonne National Laboratory

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

University of Rochester

University of Maryland, College Park

Favorite Color

Salmon

Timing Pairs
0,0:3510,150:4290,163:5148,173:6006,187:6630,197:9438,263:10140,274:14340,296:17380,361:17780,367:19380,394:19700,399:23860,468:31591,532:36932,583:38785,599:39657,604:40420,612:41728,627:49167,756:49572,762:50706,780:52326,815:54756,868:59098,900:63702,981:64538,996:64994,1004:72062,1141:72670,1157:73582,1171:77032,1183:81768,1286:82582,1296:83100,1304:86134,1352:94994,1466:95346,1471:95786,1477:101154,1560:106522,1593:109168,1618:117558,1724:120134,1766:128487,1854:136784,2028:139514,2077:140606,2146:156598,2331:160398,2390:165870,2494:171870,2597:175254,2661:177198,2684:177702,2693:184980,2811:185400,2818:185890,2827:188690,2898:188970,2903:192960,2990:202643,3146:204395,3186:204687,3191:205271,3201:206512,3220:210600,3315:211257,3326:230596,3546:233203,3677:233598,3683:241182,3855:241735,3930:247355,4026:247730,4032:249530,4078:251480,4116:254100,4134$0,0:3149,49:3417,54:7035,130:7370,142:7839,150:8107,155:9045,179:9313,184:9983,198:10452,206:11323,221:12328,244:12931,255:14673,286:15142,294:16080,311:16750,322:17554,341:18693,370:19028,376:19497,384:21909,442:22177,447:22981,461:23450,469:24321,485:25125,500:25460,506:27738,561:28207,571:28810,581:29078,586:29480,597:31088,627:31423,633:31758,642:32428,653:33165,668:33433,673:41350,680:42403,697:43132,707:44023,720:46291,747:46939,756:47911,770:48721,781:50260,806:50584,811:51070,819:51961,828:52933,843:54958,870:58934,898:59198,903:60518,935:61046,945:61508,954:63356,999:63620,1004:65534,1046:66128,1057:68108,1108:68702,1120:69296,1132:69626,1138:70220,1150:70748,1159:71672,1175:72464,1191:73124,1203:73586,1211:73916,1217:78264,1248:78648,1256:78904,1261:79544,1272:80376,1287:80888,1296:81656,1311:83576,1368:84408,1384:85304,1406:85624,1412:85880,1417:86136,1422:86456,1428:87288,1448:87928,1463:88248,1469:89336,1491:89912,1504:90552,1518:90872,1524:92088,1545:92344,1550:92664,1556:93112,1565:98040,1581:98530,1589:100360,1612
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sekazi Mtingwa's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his schools

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes when he first decided to become a physicist

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his high school mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about transitioning from high school to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the formation of the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about why he chose physics as his field

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his mentors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about Alexander Pushkin pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about Alexander Pushkin pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his time at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about changing his name

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes assisting in the establishment of a university in Tanzania

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes what he did after receiving his doctoral degree from Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his work at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa explains the Higgs boson, dark matter, and dark energy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the Harold Washington Campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes why he joined the group at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about being featured in several magazines

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in various African organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his physics research as an exchange scholar in the Soviet Union

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about racial prejudice in the field of physics

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the International Linear Collider

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his time as the Chair of the Physics Department at North Carolina A & T University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the African Laser Centre

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes how the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has changed since he was a student

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about visiting Russia for a nuclear waste disposal examination

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his awards and recognitions

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his study 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce for Twenty-first Century Problems'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his involvement in President Barack Obama's campaigns

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about being the chair of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his visit to Tanzania

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement with organization that provide access to scientific instruments

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the African Physical Society

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his work on textbooks

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sekazi Mtingwa describes his study 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce for Twenty-first Century Problems'
Transcript
Tell us about the beginnings of the black student union at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts]?$$Okay. So we had a group, maybe about ten students, who would get together informally to meet. And you have to understand that the context of that period, with the Vietnam War, protests going on all over the place, you know, the Black Liberation Movement was in full swing. So, some of us, you know, were a part of that type of way of thinking, and we wanted to try to move MIT ahead. So we formed around 1968, probably the fall of '68 [1968]. The first co-chairs were Shirley Jackson, and I think The HistoryMakers did an interview of her. She's now president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [Troy, New York]. And James Turner, who was a graduate student--in fact, at that time, they were both graduate students. Shirley was three years ahead of me. So my sophomore year, she was a first-year graduate student. James Turner, I think he must have been about a third or fourth-year graduate student in physics; they were both in physics. And James Turner actually most--he went on to become a top official at the Department of Energy, and most recently, I think, he's been at the Department of Commerce. But he had quite a career at the top levels of federal government. But, yeah, we basically met and we decided, "Hey let's just do this." And so we formed. And we tried to--one of the biggest initiatives was to get more black students into MIT. So we worked hard on that. And so, at the end of my sophomore year going into the junior year, that entering class went from the typical five-ish to fifty-three. And so the numbers have been big ever since. And, in fact, to this day MIT, again, admits only out of a thousand, eleven hundred students; about 20 percent of those are African Americans; and another 20 percent or so are Latino-Americans. So that we've (simultaneous)--$$(Unclear)--$$--come a long ways. Yeah. But it's interesting. One of the interesting things that helped the African American presence is the students who are immigrants or who are children of African Caribbean immigrants, because that's one thing that you note from the names when you meet many of the students. So that has really helped us intellectually. The black community in this country intellectually has been tremendously enhanced by immigrant students. They come here with a parent wanting a better life for their children, and so they come with that, you know, "Go to college, get your degree," and all that. And you can see the pay off. I don't think we could hit 20 percent of the students, African American students, if we didn't have the immigrants.$$They have a good observation.$$Yeah. It's a great thing. I tend to be a Pan-African, is to me, whether you're from the Caribbean, the continental of the U.S., we're all African peoples.$$Is this something you learned at home or something that you--$$No. I got so much at home, but just as I developed as a graduate student--really as a graduate student, I really became, you know, convinced that, you know, we're all the same. And then having traveled to Africa, you know, so many times. I think that the way people colonize, it's just--it's very similar to--the stories you hear are very similar to the stories of people like me out of Jim Crow South.$$Okay. Just in a different location.$$Just in a different location.$$Similar situations.$$Similar situations, yeah. Yeah.$$And--now. All right. So, the BSU [black student union] really made some gains (unclear).$$Oh, yeah. Definitely. Definitely.$$And I know it still exists actually.$$It still exists. It still exists.$$Shot a picture of it when I was there (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Oh, you did? All right. That was great.$$--I was walking down the hallway and I saw it. And I said, "Oh, this is the famous BSU at MIT." And I thought--I shot it on my phone (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Oh, really. Okay.$$--as to--yeah.$$(unclear), you know, it's still alive and well.$$Yeah. Yeah. So many of the people we met were a part--$$It was a part of that, yes.$Now, you were on the Nuc-- the 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce.'$$Okay, yeah. So that was a study I did because I'm--we have a real problem with training, you know, the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers. And at one point, the Department of Energy, DOE, was cutting back funding the university programs, so I was concerned. You know, if you start cutting back, who is going to operate? Who's going to design the next generation of nuclear reactors if the people are not being educated? So we did this study, and we pointed out to them, you know, how many people are graduating, how much money is going into the university programs. And this report turned out to be extremely important in convincing DOE to turn its attitude around toward university education. And so since this report, their 20 percent of the nuclear fuel--Research and Development Budget--nuclear fuel cycle, Research and Development Budget is going to universities. So, I mean, that's like a big flip from not wanting to give in until now, 20 percent of your funding is going to universities. And that's important. Most of the money goes to the National Laboratories to work on the big problems of nuclear waste storage and so forth. But you need to have university professors and students working on new ideas. You know, turn them loose and let them dream and pursue blue-sky research, because you don't know what major revolution they may start up; what major breakthrough. And so that was the point of that whole story, to try to get more money going to universities to promote students and new ideas.

Carlos Handy

Physicists Carlos Handy was born on October 18, 1950, in Havana, Cuba, to a Cuban mother and an American father. His father, W.C. Handy, is known as “Father of the Blues.” Growing up in New York City, Handy attended George Washington High School where he was a top math student. In 1972, Handy earned his B.A. degree in physics from Columbia College in New York. He then continued his studies at Columbia university, earning is M.A. degree in physics in 1975 and his PhD degree in theoretical physics in 1978.

From 1878 to 1981, Handy worked as a postdoctoral research associate as Los Alamos national Laboratory focusing on the use of moment representations to relate large scale to local scale features of strong coupling problems. A related approach to this led to Wavelet analysis, as developed by others (i.e. Grossman, Morlet, and Daubechies). In 1983, Handy was hired by Clark Atlanta University as an associate professor of physics. During his time there, he received grant money from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which led to his discovery of the Eigenvalue Method (EMM) technique.

With a second grant from the NSF, Handy established the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems at Clark Atlanta University, a research and student mentoring center. In 2005, Handy left Clark-Atlanta University and became the head of the physics department at Texas Southern University where assumed full responsibility for the development of the physics program.

Throughout his career, Handy published numerous research articles. The most recent of these was an extension of EMM to determining the symmetry breaking regime of an important pseudo-hermitian system, and application to Regge pole scattering analysis in atomic and molecular physics. His professional concerns include the need for modern facilities in physics education as well as student’s early mastery of calculus. Carlos Handy works in Houston, Texas.

Carlos Handy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on [mm, dd, yyyy]

Accession Number

A2012.194

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/17/2012

Last Name

Handy

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R

Schools

Columbia University

George Washington High School

Los Alamos National Laboratory

First Name

Carlos

Birth City, State, Country

Havana

HM ID

HAN04

Favorite Season

May

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Rica

Favorite Quote

Greatness comes from within.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

10/18/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

Cuba

Favorite Food

Condensed Milk, Rice

Short Description

Research physicist and physics professor Carlos Handy (1950 - ) is the founder of the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems at Clark Atlanta University, and the first Physics Department Chair at Texas Southern University.

Employment

Texas Southern University

Clark Atlanta University

AMAF Industries

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:740,33:1845,45:3715,79:6952,122:18406,364:19236,376:24465,482:25876,510:26291,516:32939,528:35144,572:35396,601:35963,613:37916,646:38231,652:39239,664:39554,670:39995,679:41570,710:42263,723:42830,734:48124,771:50100,813:50708,825:52456,876:60121,978:60590,987:60858,992:65883,1113:66352,1122:66821,1131:73789,1266:79364,1296:79692,1301:85924,1421:86498,1429:87072,1437:87400,1442:91008,1528:101247,1651:107058,1730:114196,1921:124550,2007:132458,2158:137148,2258:138287,2284:146126,2474:152324,2514:164360,2652:164612,2666:165053,2713:165431,2742:168896,2807:169337,2817:170030,2831:174231,2858:177542,2925:182162,3016:182547,3022:191038,3105:193978,3184:197674,3269:198850,3281:201580,3405$0,0:5950,117:10213,180:34409,451:34967,459:37292,491:37850,498:41058,545:41488,551:52584,694:53010,701:53862,715:54359,724:57057,801:59684,856:61885,902:62382,915:62879,924:73996,1043:75772,1076:76068,1081:76512,1088:78510,1146:78954,1154:83394,1278:84356,1299:85244,1313:94882,1384:96194,1406:98654,1460:100048,1481:100458,1486:103000,1543:103574,1552:111085,1639:112789,1669:114706,1713:115274,1719:121384,1780:129640,1906
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carlos Handy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carlos Handy lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carlos Handy describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carlos Handy talks about Cuban patriotism

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carlos Handy talks about his mother's early life in the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carlos Handy describes his childhood experiences of going back and forth between the United States and Cuba

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carlos Handy talks about his mother's growing up in Cuba

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carlos Handy describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carlos Handy talks about his grandfather, W.C. Handy, a famous blues musician

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carlos Handy describes his memories of his grandfather, W.C. Handy

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carlos Handy talks about his paternal family's musical talents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carlos Handy talks about his father's growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carlos Handy talks about his father's career as a businessman

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carlos Handy describes how his parents met and got married

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carlos Handy describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carlos Handy talks about his siblings and his childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carlos Handy describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carlos Handy describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in New York City and Cuba

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carlos Handy talks about being brought up by a Cuban mother

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carlos Handy describes his childhood neighborhood in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carlos Handy describes his experience in elementary school and junior high school in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carlos Handy describes his experience at George Washington High School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carlos Handy talks about representing his high school on the NBC program 'It's Academic'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carlos Handy describes his freshman year at Columbia University and his work with Martin Gutzwiller at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carlos Handy describes the challenges that he faced during his freshman year at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carlos Handy describes his experience as a physics major at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carlos Handy talks about physicist Martin Gutzwiller

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carlos Handy talks about his parents' separation and his decision to pursue graduate studies at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carlos Handy describes his experience as a first-year Ph.D. student at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carlos Handy describes the challenges that he faced during his doctoral studies at Columbia University - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carlos Handy describes the challenges that he faced during his doctoral studies at Columbia University - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carlos Handy describes his doctoral dissertation research in the field of gauge theories, at Columbia University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carlos Handy describes his disappointing experience in the physics department at Columbia University and the lack of mentoring

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carlos Handy talks about the broad applicability of a doctoral degree, and the problem with stringent expectations in academia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carlos Handy describes the way he was treated in the physics department at Columbia University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carlos Handy describes his work on the moment problem at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carlos Handy describes race relations in New Mexico

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carlos Handy talks about getting married, and moving to AMAF in Baltimore, Maryland, and to Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carlos Handy describes his research on the moment problem at Clark Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carlos Handy describes his research collaboration with physicist Daniel Bessis - part one

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carlos Handy describes his research collaboration with physicist Daniel Bessis - part two

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carlos Handy describes his research with Daniel Bessie, on the neutron star problem

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carlos Handy describes his work with Hermitian operators at Clark Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carlos Handy describes his research at the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems at Clark Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carlos Handy describes his decision to accept a position at Texas Southern University

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carlos Handy describes his experience as chair of the physics department at Texas Southern University, and the status of HBCUs in the state of Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Carlos Handy describes the demographics of Texas Southern University

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Carlos Handy describes his involvement as chair of the physics department at Texas Southern University

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Carlos Handy describes the challenges faced by the physics department at Texas Southern University

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Carlos Handy discusses the graduation rate of African American students in the STEM fields in the Texas university systems

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Carlos Handy reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Carlos Handy reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Carlos Handy describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Carlos Handy talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Carlos Handy talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

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DAStory

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DATitle
Carlos Handy describes his research collaboration with physicist Daniel Bessis - part two
Carlos Handy talks about his mother's early life in the United States
Transcript
So, [Daniel] Bessis [physicist], this is now January of '85 [1985], comes back from his Christmas break. And he says, he says, you know, I tried to, I tried to solve this problem, but I, I couldn't come up with a solution. I said, well, I solved it. He says, what do you mean you solved it? Yeah, I solved it. So I showed him what I did. And his jaw dropped because not only had I solved the problem, I did something else. It turns out--and this is the other irony, it turns that he and Barnsley, a few years before, had tried it--because the method I came up, not just gave you an answer. It gave you an answer in a very special way. I could tell you, I could tell you that the true answer had to be between this number and that number. And depending upon how much I wanted to go, I can make those two shrink, and those are called lower and upper bounds. So I can tell you that the true answer must be between this and this, and I can make this arbitrary type. And they had been looking for a method like that. And, in fact, Barnsley came up with something called the "bathtub," "Barnsley's bathtub theorem" which is really a variation of something called the Barta's Bounds for ener--, for, you know, for eigenvalues, well, it's really for the ground state, the Barta Bounds. But that method can give you estimates, but there's no way to shrink 'em down. I could shrink 'em down, and so Bessis gets very excited because even though that's not what I was looking for, that's what I discovered. And then he says that there's a very famous problem, called the Quadratic Zeeman Effect for super strong magnetic fields. What is means is basically, you know, the earth's, the magnetic field of the earth is like, you know, one gauss or .4 gauss [unit of measurement of a magnetic field]. It's very, very small. But if you go on the neutron star, the magnetic field can be a billion, I mean huge, (unclear) billion gauss, very strong. And so what astronomers wanna do is, they'll measure the energy emitted by these hydrogen-looking atoms, and by doing the spectro-analysis, they can actually measure in magnetic fields. So it's a, you know, it's an involved, it's an inverse process. So if you have, if you have good--if you can accurately measure the energy levels from a hydrogen atom, you can then determine what the strength and magnetic field (unclear) neutron star. So it's an important pract--theoretical and practical problem. But the problem is that, this quadratic Zeeman effect is a strong coupling problem, all right. The boundary layer I think I told you, it's a strong coupling problem. And when people try to solve that problem, they, because the methods are not, they're not robust, they're not accurate enough, they can give answers that vary all over the place. But here I am coming with a solution that can tell you that the, what the true (unclear). There's no uncertainty. So, I remember in '85 [1985] Bessis looking at me, and, and you have to understand Bessis is the first collaboration I ever had in my life, okay, not at Columbia, not at Los Alamos, the first collaboration I ever had in my life. So I remember in '85 [1985] Bessis saying, we wrote a paper, a 'Physics Review Letters'[journal] paper which is the top publication still [C. R. Handy and D. Bessis, `Rapidly Convergent Lower Bounds for the Schrodinger Equation Ground State Energy', 1985].$Okay. Now, when she [Handy's mother, Leonor Maria Cartaya] was raised up, did she have a chance to go to, to finish school?$$Well, she, at the time, she, she--in fact, she met my father, she was, I think, in a doctoral program in pedagogy, but never finished, but she was close to getting a doctorate in education.$$Okay, was she in the United States or in Cuba?$$Well, she, she came on an academic, she came on an excursion in 1947. I guess it was like an academic excursion. She toured Howard University [Washington, District of Columbia], other places like that. And then she fell in love with the United States and stayed behind, rented an apartment and in that building, my father was living with his kids from his first wife. He was a widower.$$Is this in New York?$$In New York City.$$New York City.$$Okay, and little by little, they started a relationship, and, you know, one thing led to another, and they got married in 1950. So or 1949, 'cause I (laughter), heck, so I don't know. They married in 1949 or 1950, but I do know that, that we were, we popped up nine months after (laughter). So--.$$So, they, your mother had moved back to Cuba for a minute, I guess when you were born?$$Yeah, 'cause she taught. She was a school teacher.$$Okay.$$So she would go back and forth. She would fly--my mother hated to fly, and my father never flew. So my mother would fly from Havana [Cuba] to Miami [Florida] and then take either the train or the Greyhound Bus up the East Coast. And I do remember, she would, she, you know, she tells me that the bus driver would tell her, well, you know, you folks in the back. And so she says that on one occasion she said, or the only occasion she said, "Me no speak English," okay, so she stayed put. And my mother was of the character that she would not bow down. You know, she would find a way to (laughter) stay where she wanted to be, so--.$$Okay.