Thursday, September 5, 2013

Letter to St. Charles

St. Charles Borromeo (1538 - 1584), Bishop of Milan
To Louis Fabro, Director of Alumni Affairs, St. Charles Borromeo Preparatory School, Columbus, Ohio.

As a 1954 St. Charles Borromeo alumnus who moved to California in the 60s, I have been enjoying reading in your newsletters about the changes taking place at my old high school.  After all the new construction, I'm sure I would not recognize the place. A lot of changes have occurred in 60 years including the new pedestrian bridge across Alum Creek near the site of the Mary Grotto where some of us--not me--would sneak behind to smoke cigarettes. Is there still a seminary on the grounds where boarding-school students would steal beer from the novitiate's refrigerators? I remember assisting as an altar boy at morning mass in the chapel when I came early to school. And being castigated by Monsignor Galen in math class which was not so unusual: Msgr. Galen's standards were high and few of us escaped this brilliant man's good-natured criticism.

Responding to your request for material for your Alumni News, here's what's been happening to Nick.

After graduating from St. Charles, I got a BA in physics from Ohio State and a PhD in Physics from Stanford.

I held various jobs in industry during the 60s and 70s, then dropped out of the mainstream to home school my son Khola and do physics at home--a decision which introduced me to many other independent researchers working at the edges of conventional science. During this time I wrote three books, the best-selling Quantum Reality, still in print and ebook, Faster Than Light, and Elemental Mind, a book about consciousness. In the late 70s, I was invited to teach and lead seminars at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA on the implications of Bell's Theorem, a new mathematical proof by Irish physicist John Stewart Bell, concerned not merely with experiments, nor with theories but with "reality itself". Two of my achievements in this area were the shortest proof of Bell's theorem and a thought experiment (called FLASH) which led directly to the discovery of the quantum No-Cloning Rule, a fundamental fact of nature that sets limits on the behavior of quantum computers. My work was recently publicized in MIT professor David Kaiser's popular book How the Hippies Saved Physics and in Supernature, a soon-to-be-released feature-length film by Jeffrey Kripal and Scott Hulan Jones dramatizing the 50-year history of Esalen Institute. I live in Boulder Creek, CA with my cat Onyx, work out twice a week, have published two books of quantum-erotic poetry and am learning to play the Irish whistle. Not such a bad life for a boy both of whose grandfathers were immigrants from the Ukraine who worked as coal miners in South-eastern Ohio. See what a difference a St Charles education can make!

Nick Herbert, St Charles Borromeo, Class of 1954

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