NOBEL THOUGHTS: Simon van der Meer


NOBEL THOUGHTS: Simon van der Meer

Profound Insights of the Laureates

by Marc Abrahams

Simon van der Meer received a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983 for his contributions to the discovery of the W and Z subatomic particles. A native of the Netherlands, he now resides in a small town outside Geneva. We spoke with him via the kind assistance of the intrepid Dutch journalist Herbert Blankesteijn.

What is your opinion about chewing gum?

A. Chewing gum? That's very useful to stick things together. If you have a hole in your radiator, you can plug it with chewing gum.

Does a brisk cup of tea stimulate the thought processes?

A. No, I don't think so.

How about eating fish?

A. I'm not so enthusiastic about that. I don't do it too often.

Do you have any advice for young people who are entering the field?

A. What I would recommend to them is, if they have some idea — however crazy it is — they should check up on it. Once in a hundred times it will turn out to be a good idea.

© Copyright 2003 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

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