Isaac Abella

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Isaac David Abella (born June 20, 1934 - October 23, 2016) was a Professor of Physics at The University of Chicago. He specializes in laser physics, quantum optics, and spectroscopy. Isaac is the cousin of Irving Abella.


  • “Which is Better: the Latke or the Hamantash?” is not a valid question, even though this has now been debated for 50 years.
    * The question does not exhibit the necessary property of universality.
    * It is culturally biased, implies gender specificity, exhibits geographical chauvinism and appeals to special interests.
    * It is not value-free.
    This question would not pass scrutiny on an SAT test, since it unfairly favors one ethnic and gender group over another: e.g., it favors the NY and Brooklyn establishment over the Midwest Rust Belt, and pits female latke workers against male hamantash bakers. In short, it is Politically Incorrect. Physics does not ask which is better: the proton or neutron, baryon or lepton, helium or neon, the conductor or insulator. These are simply properties of nature. Rather, physics asks: “Why?” or “Which is more important or more fundamental?” or “Who published it first?”
    • as quoted in Ruth Fredman Cernea, Ted (FRW) Cohen (2006). The great latke-hamantash debate. University of Chicago Press. p. 153. ISBN 0226100243. .

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