von Zuben

Von Zuben

Research & Consulting

Limited Company

·       Scientific & Technical Writing

·       Research in Theoretical & Applied Physics

·       Positioning, Navigation, & Timing Systems Design, Development, & Evaluation




von Zuben Coat of Arms


Variations of this coat of arms (as well as a probable branch of my family) date back to the fourteenth century, when a certain Heinrich von Zuben was the second governor of the newly-formed canton of Unterwalden, Switzerland. A total of four von Zuben’s are listed as serving in that office (or that of its daughter canton, Obwalden) between 1315 and 1629 A.D.* The serpent appears to have been adapted from a stylized “S” or “Z”, possibly referring to the hamlet of Zuben which still exists near the town of Sarnen, Switzerland. Later variations of the coat of arms can be found in older buildings around Sarnen, and the family included prominent landowners during the period following the high middle ages. As far as is known, all present-day descendents had left the region, or fallen into obscurity, by the time my great great great grandfather immigrated to Germany following the Napoleonic Wars. Afterwards, his descendents immigrated to America around 1850, while another branch of the family immigrated to Canada a few years later.


*Die Landammanner des Standes Obwalden und ihre Wappen, P. Ephrem Omlin (Historisch-Antiquarischen Vereins Obwalden; 1966)





The Dirac Equation


Displayed above is P.A.M. Dirac’s famous equation for the electron (and for that matter, all leptons), expressed here in the chiral basis. I included it on the website because I find it to be the most beautiful equation in physics. It is actually a system of equations describing two fields, each having opposite velocity and opposite chirality, for a particle of rest-mass m and a spin of ˝. Each of the two fields propagates through space at the speed of light, but in opposite directions. However, each field serves as the source of its opposing field, with the coupling between the two being the mass m. As one field grows to the point where the system would disperse, it is converted to the opposite field at a proportionately higher rate. The net effect is a continual creation and annihilation of opposing fields which keeps the entire system localized to a small spatial region approximately the size of the particle’s Compton wavelength. The entire system consequently moves at a velocity smaller than the speed of light.

Research Interests

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