USA Today Magazine Articles 2001-2023

This book gathers together the articles I published in USA Today Magazine. They cover a large variety of topics and the book contains a commentary, sometimes giving history and technical details that could not be included at the time.

The Quantum Particle Illusion

Problems with the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics date back to attempts by Max Born, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, as well as many others in the 1920s to continue to employ the classical concept of a particle in the context of the quantum world. The experimental observations at the time and the assumption that the classical concept of a particle was to be preserved have led to an enormous literature on the foundations of quantum mechanics and a great deal of confusion then and now among non-physicists and students in any field that involves quantum theory. It is the historical approach to the teaching of quantum mechanics that is at the root of the problem.

Spacetime is the arena within which quantum mechanical phenomena take place. For this reason, several Appendices are devoted to the nature of spacetime as well as to topics that can help us understand it such as vacuum fluctuations, the Unruh effect and Hawking radiation.

Because of the success of quantum mechanical calculations, those who wish to understand the foundations of the theory are often given the apocryphal advice, “just ignore the issue and calculate”. It is hoped that this book will help dispel some of the dismay, frustration, and confusion among those who refuse to take to heart this admonition.


This book addresses the incentives to develop nuclear weapons, what it takes to do so, and some of the technical aspects of nuclear and ballistic missile programs. It uses the North Korean program as an example.  It also addresses the associated policy issues.


To read the front matter through Chapter 1, click on the link below.

The Immense Journey: From the Birth of the Universe to the Rise of Intelligence

This book is an attempt to show the majesty of the immense journey from the coming into being of the universe to the emergence and evolution of life. While it begins with the birth of the universe and the subsequent formation of the matter making up the stars and planets, it is the four and a half billion years since the formation of our sun and its planets that are the main focus of the book.

Part I covers the coming into existence of the universe; Part II the beginning of life on the early Earth; Part III the emergence of consciousness and intelligence; and Part IV, the immense journey of the universe beyond Earth. Part V addresses the problems raised by the emergence of higher-order consciousness in human beings as captured by the phrase “the human condition”.


This book takes the reader from some elementary ideas about groups to the essence of the Standard Model of particle physics along a relatively straight and intuitive path. Groups alone are first used to arrive at a classical analog  of the Dirac equation. Using elementary quantum mechanics, this analog can be turned into the actual Dirac equation, which governs the motion of the quarks and leptons of the Standard Model. After introduction to the gauge principle, the groups introduced in the beginning of the book are used to give an introduction to the Standard Model. The idea is to give an Olympian view of this evolution, one that is often missing when absorbing the detailed subject matter of the Standard Model as presented in an historical approach to the subject.

Published by World Scientific:

Errata: p. 110, Eq. (A3.3), a right parenthesis is missing after the 1st derivative in the second line of the equation and the exponent “v” in both lines of the equation should be changed to the Greek “nu”; p. 117 has a duplicated paragraph.  Appendix A, p.87, 1st paragraph, line 2:   2.7 X 10^-22 should be 4 X 10^-20.

BORN SECRET: The H-Bomb, the Progressive Case and National Security

By A. DeVolpi, G.E. Marsh, T.A. Postol, and G.S. Stanford.

Born Secret looks at the widely publicized Progressive magazine case and the U.S. government’s then unprecedented attempt to prevent publication of an H-bomb design culled by a journalist from unclassified materials. The book, originally published by Pergamon Press in 1981, has long been out of print and the authors have decided to make it available to the general public and those having an interest in the Atomic Energy Act and the First Amendment. After the court proceedings ended, the authors also donated a copy of the complete unclassified in camera file to the University of Chicago Libraries.

The file is a PDF of approximately 300MB. To download, click here.


The following 6.5 MB file has been reformatted and corrected. Born Secret-Reformated with corrections-updates


Seawater pH and anthropogenic carbon dioxide is the first chapter in Climate Change, Ed: Siddhartha P. Saikia (International Book Distributors 2010).

In 2005, the Royal Society published a report titled Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.  The report’s principal conclusion “that average ocean pH could decrease by 0.5 units by 2100” is demonstrated here to be consistent with a linear extrapolation of very limited data.  It is also shown that current understanding of ocean mixing, and of the relationship between pH and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, cannot justify such an extrapolation.

(Typos in Eqs. (1) and (A10) have been corrected)


The Phantom Defense: America’s Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion

Praeger Press 2001

A Project of the Center for International Policy

Coauthors: Craig Eisendrath and Melvin A. Goodman

Like President Reagan with his “Star Wars” program, President Bush has again made national missile defense (NMD) a national priority at a cost which may exceed $150 billion in the next ten years. Defense experts Eisendrath, Goodman, and Marsh contend that recent tests give little confidence that any of the systems under consideration—land-based, boost-phase, or laser-driven—have any chance of effective deployment within decades. The interests of the military-industrial complex and the unilateralist views of the Bush administration are driving NMD, not a desire to promote national security.

Rather than increase U.S. security, the plans of the current administration, if implemented, will erode it. NMD will heighten the threat from China and Russia, alienate key allies, and provoke a new arms race and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, all in response to a greatly exaggerated threat from so-called “rogue states,” such as North Korea and Iran. Thoughtful diplomacy, not a misguided foreign policy based on a hopeless dream of a “Fortress America,” is the real answer to meeting America’s security goals. Designed to stimulate interest and debate among the public and policy-makers, the Phantom Defense provides solid facts and combines scientific, geopolitical, historical, and strategic analysis to critique the delusion of national missile defense, while suggesting a more effective alternative.

(Phantom Defense at Amazon)

Erratum: p. 86, 2nd full paragraph: The first sentence should read: “Even with nuclear-tipped interceptors it was clear, as early as the 1960s, that, in the words of John S. Foster, Jr. of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the system would . . . limited time available for intercept.”

Force-Free Magnetic Fields: Solutions, Topology and Applications

World Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. 1996

After an introductory chapter concerned with the history of force-free magnetic fields, and the relation of such fields to hydrodynamics and astrophysics, the book examines the limits imposed by the virial theorem for finite force-free configurations. Various techniques are then used to find solutions to the field equations. The fact that the field lines corresponding to these solutions have the common feature of being “twisted”, and may be knotted, motivates a discussion of field line topology and the concept of helicity. The topics of field topology, helicity, and magnetic energy in multiply connected domains make the book of interest to a rather wide audience. Applications to solar prominence models, type-II superconductors, and force-reduced magnets are also discussed. The book contains many figures and a wealth of material not readily available elsewhere.

(Force-Free Magnetic Fields at Amazon)


Marsh_Force-Free_Magnet_Fields_Solutions_ Topology_ Applications

Errata for Force-Free Magnetic Fields

Scroll to top