It’s not news that New Yorkers will want to hear. The best pizza city in America is—drumroll—Portland, Ore. That’s according to the authors of the upcoming Modernist Pizza, Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya, who ate almost 400 pies from coast to coast to come to that conclusion. Their three-volume, 1,700-page book will come out on Oct. 5 and will include a recipe manual. Portland’s dominance didn’t surprise Myhrvold, the former chief technology officer at Microsoft Corp. and co-author of the monumental Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Bread. “We had an inkling it would be good,” he says, “but we were shocked at how good it was.”
This story for the NYT's Science Times describes Nathan's innovative snowflake microscopy along with other impressive work by Caltech physicist Ken Libbrecht and Canadian photographer Don Komarechka.
In this 2-1/2 hour-long interview, Nathan discusses Stephen Hawking and the quest to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics, string and supersymmetry theories, and the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in physics. Plus what's happening with COVID-19 evolution, herd immunity, and vaccinations. And lighter topics like: myths about nutrition, whether a fast-changing climate might make geoengineering necessary, and ways to judge the trustworthiness of new science. Also available in video form on YouTube: https://youtu.be/YUXHLTlx9DA
Photographer and scientist Nathan Myhrvold has developed a camera that captures snowflakes at a microscopic level never seen before
University of Chicago economist and Freakonomics author Steven Levitt interviewed Nathan for the podcast People I (Mostly) Admire. Among the topics they discussed in their wide-ranging conversation: how Nathan met Bill Gates and eventually became Microsoft's first chief technology officer despite never having taken a computer science class, what it was like working with Stephen Hawking and his contributions to physics, the strategies and frustrations of being a prolific inventor, the crucial role that advanced fission power can play in combatting climate change, education of highly gifted children, and Nathan's forthcoming three-volume book on pizza.
Nathan Myhrvold cautions against drawing unsupported conclusions from dinosaur growth data
A new study by Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira and Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures concludes that about half of the warming occurs within the first 10 years after an instantaneous step increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, but about one-quarter of the warming occurs more than a century after the step increase. Their work is published in Environmental Research Letters.
Could replacing coal-fired electricity plants with generators fueled by natural gas bring global warming to a halt in this century? What about rapid construction of massive numbers of solar or wind farms, hydroelectric dams, or nuclear reactors—or the invention of new technology for capturing the carbon dioxide produced by fossil-fueled power plants and storing it permanently underground? Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures teamed up with Carnegie Institution’s Ken Caldeira to calculate the expected climate effects of replacing the world’s supply of electricity from coal plants with any of eight cleaner options.