John N. Bahcall

American physicist
John Bahcall.jpg

John Norris Bahcall (December 30, 1934August 17, 2005) was an American astrophysicist, best known for his contributions to the solar neutrino problem, the development of the Hubble Space Telescope and for his leadership and development of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.


  • Every time we get slapped down, we can say, Thank you Mother Nature, because it means we're about to learn something important.
    • (March 6 1995). "UNRAVELING UNIVERSE. Is the cosmos younger than the stars it contains? Was Einstein's biggest blunder not a mistake? Here's why cosmology is in chaos". Time 145: 84.
    • This quote was Bahcall's response to the ongoing controversy about which new observation will eventually "tie up the loose ends in cosmology?"
  • We often frame our understanding of what the space telescope will do in terms of what we expect to find, and actually it would be terribly anticlimactic if in fact we find what we expect to find. … The most important discoveries will provide answers to questions that we do not yet know how to ask and will concern objects we have not yet imagined.

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