Yesterday I googled “John von John’ to find if I had named someone this in my book ‘The Royal Janitor’. Up came…..John von Neumann! Here is the man who I psychically searched for in my science fiction novel ‘The Gideon Computer’ which I believe – has come true!
I would like to write the biography of von Neumann, but for now, I am going to feature him in my Serial of The Royal Janitor – that may never become a novel – because it contains a mountain of interesting information I want to build upon, verses producing a finished product for billionaires. I invent…
John von Neumann (/vɒn ˈnɔɪmən/; Hungarian: Neumann János Lajos, pronounced [ˈnɒjmɒn ˈjaːnoʃ ˈlɒjoʃ]; December 28, 1903 – February 8, 1957) was a Hungarian-American mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, engineer and polymath. Von Neumann was generally regarded as the foremost mathematician of his time and said to be “the last representative of the great mathematicians”. He integrated pure and applied sciences.
Von Neumann made major contributions to many fields, including mathematics (foundations of mathematics, functional analysis, ergodic theory, group theory, representation theory, operator algebras, geometry, topology, and numerical analysis), physics (quantum mechanics, hydrodynamics, and quantum statistical mechanics), economics (game theory), computing (Von Neumann architecture, linear programming, self-replicating machines, stochastic computing), and statistics. He was a pioneer of the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics in the development of functional analysis, and a key figure in the development of game theory and the concepts of cellular automata, the universal constructor and the digital computer.
Von Neumann published over 150 papers in his life: about 60 in pure mathematics, 60 in applied mathematics, 20 in physics, and the remainder on special mathematical subjects or non-mathematical ones. His last work, an unfinished manuscript written while he was in the hospital, was later published in book form as The Computer and the Brain.
His analysis of the structure of self-replication preceded the discovery of the structure of DNA. In a shortlist of facts about his life he submitted to the National Academy of Sciences, he wrote, “The part of my work I consider most essential is that on quantum mechanics, which developed in Göttingen in 1926, and subsequently in Berlin in 1927–1929. Also, my work on various forms of operator theory, Berlin 1930 and Princeton 1935–1939; on the ergodic theorem, Princeton, 1931–1932.”
During World War II, von Neumann worked on the Manhattan Project with theoretical physicist Edward Teller, mathematician Stanislaw Ulam and others, problem-solving key steps in the nuclear physics involved in thermonuclear reactions and the hydrogen bomb. He developed the mathematical models behind the explosive lenses used in the implosion-type nuclear weapon and coined the term “kiloton” (of TNT) as a measure of the explosive force generated. After the war, he served on the General Advisory Committee of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, and consulted for organizations including the United States Air Force, the Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory, the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. As a Hungarian émigré, concerned that the Soviets would achieve nuclear superiority, he designed and promoted the policy of mutually assured destruction to limit the arms race.
The Meisel family (also Meisels and Meizels) is a distinguished Bohemian rabbinic family originally from Prague, who descend from Yitskhak Eizik Meisels (b. 1425), a paternal 10th generation descendant of the Exilarch, Mar Ukba. From the early 16th century and onward, members of the family such as Mordecai Meisel achieved great economic prominence in Prague, becoming one of the wealthiest Bohemian Jewish families. It was also during this time, that a branch of the family descending from Simcha Bunim Meisels (1545-1624) (the son-in-law of Moses Isserles) immigrated to Kraków, Poland due to rising Antisemitism in Bohemia. In Poland the family produced several rabbinic scholars, such as Dow Ber Meisels and Moses Bonems-Meisels. Among the families descendants are: Shabbatai HaKohen, Yitzchak Yaacov Reines, Alexander Sender Shor, as well as the Peshischa, Sulitza, Ropshitz, Bobov, Biala, Kretshnif, and KotzkHasidic dynasties.