5 July, 2012
Leonard Mlodinow, a renowned physicist and mathematician from the United States who has written two books with Stephen Hawking – The Grand Design and A Brief History of Time – as well as a book with spiritual guru Deepak Chopra – The War of the Worldviews – and was one of the scriptwriters of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” fulfilled his dream of visiting the ALMA observatory, one of the few places in Chile he toured as part of an invitation to give talks in our country.
Accompanied by his wife and ALMA astronomers, Mlodinow visited the observatory installations located at an altitude of 2,900 meters, near San Pedro de Atacama: back-end laboratories, the Vertex antenna assembly site (the North American part of the project) and the control room. According to those who accompanied him, Mlodinow was very impressed with the observatory and friendly with ALMA staff.
Afterwards, the group traveled to the Chajnantor Plain at an altitude of 5,000 meters (see photo) to tour the central group of antennas and the technical building, where those responsible for the correlator explained how it functions. Mlodinow’s visit to ALMA lasted six hours. It was an unforgettable experience both for him and for those who took advantage of his surprising visit to speak and take photos with him.
Credit: ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO), C. González