In the mind of John von neumann

  • Painting: oil on canvas
  • Size: 32Hx28Wx2 inches

An inadvertent father of the atomic bomb, John von Neumann was the only member of the Manhattan Project who was not sequestered in Los Alamos. His major contribution was with the massive mathematical calculations necessary for the project. His powers of calculation were so great that when he invented the first calculating machine, there was no comparable mechanism to check if the calculations his machine made were correct. The solution: he did the calculations himself, in his head, to corroborate the calculating machine’s accuracy. When the first bomb was tested, he walked away, nonplused at the demonstration he had seen. He had lived a charmed life since childhood. He was now not sure of the inevitability of mathematics. He now questioned the use made of it. But he remained optimistic. As a member of the Atomic Energy Commission in 1955, he made a telling statement to the United Nations in relation to all of the deaths caused by the radiation the bomb, and its testing unleashed. “We willingly pay 30,000-40,000 fatalities per year, for the advantages of individual transportation by automobile… Yes, we have to accept it as part payment for our more advanced industrial position.”

This painting is available only on 36Hx24W inches canvas prints.


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