Friday, August 24, 2001

"I Was Destined to Write ..."

cover The cover of Marcia Bartusiak's book, "Einstein's Unfinished Symphony." Clicking the image leads you to the buying information page of the book at web site.
I have been submitting customer reviews on books to since August 2000 (see "Book Reviews by tttabata"). The 21st review was on Marcia Bartusiak's "Einstein's Unfinished Symphony." This book elegantly portrays the hunting for gravitational waves, the existence of which was predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. Immediately after my review had been posted at the Amazon web site, I received unexpectedly an e-mail message of thanks from the author.

I found it interesting that the author uses "bar2siak" for her e-mail account. The original detector invented by Joseph Weber for directly catching gravity waves consisted of a big aluminum cylinder surrounded by piezoelectric sensors and suspended in a vacuum tank. This type of detector is called "bar." Further, a pair of bars is commonly used to cancel noises out by the coincidence method. Thus "bar2" can be interpreted as two bars used for trying to detect gravity waves and described in detail in "Einstein's Unfinished Symphony." Wondering if she had noticed it herself, I wrote this finding of mine to the author.

Ms. Bartusiak wrote me back:
I never thought of my e-mail address in that way. You're right! I guess I was destined to write on gravitational-wave bars after all.
It is again interesting that the science journalist used the religious word "destined."

The writer acknowledges Ms. Bartusiak's kind permission for citing the above passage from her e-mail letter.