The storied universities of Oxford and Cambridge have their origins in medieval days. Oxford was already a seat of learning by AD 1167. In 1205, however, when an Oxford scholar killed a local townsman, the dead man's friends turned around and massacred a number of scholars. This resulted in a mass exodus of scholars to a town named after a bridge on the River Cam. And, although many of the scholars returned to Oxford by 1209 and picked up where they had left off, the incident led to the birth of a great rival institution in the University of Cambridge.
As a young post-doc at Oxford in the 1970s, and with repeated visits since, the great university will always have my heart. But then it is Cambridge that is the source of so much physics that I've taught through my career as a professor of physics, that this institution will always have my unbridled admiration. (Oxford has produced many more Prime Ministers, but you cannot hold it against them.) For its scientific legacy Cambridge is unrivaled, not only in the UK, but in the rest of the world. It produced Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton in the 17th Century; Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin and James Clerk Maxwell in the 19th; Paul A.M. Dirac in physics, Francis Crick and James Watson in biology in the 20th. Eighty-three Nobel Prize winners are associated with the institution in the 20th Century, twice as many as any other institution in the world.
In 1665, the Bubonic Plague, still ravaging the Continent of Europe, made its way across the English Chanel, and began to decimate the population of London. Oxford and Cambridge, each approximately 80 km (50 miles) from London were closed down. During the next 18-months in 1665-'66, the 23-year old Isaac Newton sequestered himself in splendid isolation in his home, Woolsthorpe, in southern Lincolnshire. There he virtually created modern science formulated calculus, discovered many of the critical properties of light, discovered the three laws that bear his name, and discovered the Law of Universal Gravitation. The publication of his masterpiece, The "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Matematica," another 23 years later, gave rise in time to the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Electrical Revolution, the Nuclear Revolution, the Air and Space Age, the Information Age... and whatever science and technology hold in store for the future. It can safely be said that Newton is the architect of the modern world.
In honoring Newton in death, Alexander Pope penned the immortal couplet,
"Nature and Nature's Laws lay in night,
God said, 'Let Newton Be! and all was light."
The gates in this photograph are at the Wren Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. They offer a breath taking view of the River Cam, meandering lazily through "the Backs," or behind many of the colleges of Cambridge. It has been the setting for some of the finest minds in history. A great deal of Newton's personal books and papers are maintained in the Wren Library. All of last week, I was a guest of Trinity College, I was there with my co-author, Keith Wamsley, doing research on a book entitled "The Miracle Year." It was an overwhelming experience to physically handle Newton's own books, replete with his annotations and corrections in ink. Indeed, the deeply religious Newton had set out to "... read the mind of God." Studying his notes, I felt as if I were reading the mind of the man, who was reading the mind of God.
I dedicate this photo to Lord Rees of Ludlow, Master of Trinity, Astronomer Royal of England, and past President of the Royal Society otherwise simply "Martin Rees" as gracious and modest, as he is brilliant.
worldcitizen, MLINES, agulberk, Sonata11, Suppiluliuma, Kofman, Longroute, snunney, Royaldevon, timecapturer, jhm, daddo, BWJ, jmcl, cagla, Kielia, patdeph, patdeph, geoant68, ingvar, bukitgolfb301, photoray, zoomer, jlbrthnn, Charo, yedirenk, JCG, jafadabret, Didi, s_lush, paura, paololg, pablominto, Angshu, Vasa, kordinator, lucasgalodoido, nobuikehonda, kennyblack has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
worldcitizen (8648) 2011-03-06 15:32
This beautiful, open gate is the perfect invitation to wonder out beside the river. Behind the lovely silhouettes we can get a glimpse that spring is on the way. I like the soft, pastel colors and the placement of the tree. Your note is also very interesting as always. Now I know how the University of Cambridge was born. :-)
MLINES (12516) 2011-03-06 15:58
Hi Bulent, Interesting gateway which draws the viewer to wonder what is around the other side. I like the shadowy interior contrasting with the brighter daylight outside. Paving is well documented. TFS. Murray.
PS saw a large cruise-ship (Pacific Jewel) in harbour on weekend and thought maybe one you have lectured on.
agulberk (3794) 2011-03-06 16:22
Sevgili Bülent Hocam..
Siz Cennetin Kapısını aralamışsınız, bize de haydi siz de buyurun der gibisiniz . Gerçekten mükemmel,etkileyici ve çok anlamlı bir fotoğraf. Karanlık ve loş bir ortamdan ,aydınlık ve insanın kalbini hoplatan inanılmaz güzellikte bir ortama girişi hatırlatan bir kapı.
Her şeyiyle dör dörtlük bir çalışma
Elinize,emeğinize ve gönlünüze sağlık .
Çok selam ve sevgiler...
Sonata11 (33795) 2011-03-06 18:39
a very interesting gate which makes a viewer to think, what is behind the gate?. Very impressive and interesting picture. Thanks for sharing and for interesting note. Really, I like it very much.
All the best,
Suppiluliuma (3913) 2011-03-06 20:38
Even reading your note is a thrilling experience, I can't imagine how it would feel like to be there, breathing the atmosphere at Cambridge.
Nice capture, well-exposed shot, and an excellent note, as always..
Selam ve sevgilerimle,
emka (97533) 2011-03-06 23:43
So are you already back from Cambridge. I like this photo with its calm atmosphere. Fantastic iron gate and the beautiful willows behind it. Excellent note as usual.
I am looking forward to my USA trip. I have already all my reservations, also the ticket from NYC to Fredericksburg! In three weeks I will by in New York.
Longroute (19396) 2011-03-07 1:33
The gate of culture? (:-)
A scene seen through a gate or a door is always more attractive or even mysterious. It's as if a new and unexpected world is opening for us. Here we have a lovely scenery, the tree with the pond, which seems got out of a Renaissance's painting, and the motives in the iron gate are in some way complimentary to those of the tree branches.
A good idea.
snunney (98944) 2011-03-07 1:43
Very pleasant to walk along the Backs next to the Cam. The ornate gate makes great frame for the softly lit landscape beyond. Good tonal contrasts and excellent sharpness. Thanks also for the interesting and informative notes.
Royaldevon (38776) 2011-03-07 2:07
A most illuminating note, Bulent!
Who wouldn't want to visit either of the historic university towns after reading this!
Your photograph has a great symbolism, opening the gates to light, beauty, freedom and peace.
There is a face on the tree, which is welcoming all, with outstretched arms.
A beautifully composed shot, with just the right dof.
My warm regards,
timecapturer (49288) 2011-03-07 2:52
an intriguing shot with a well chosen POV and composition. A striking view beyond the elegant framing. A well controlled and taken shot.
jhm (152860) 2011-03-07 3:31
Your visit to London brought you very nice images, a little bit time for take a good picture, I hope that you found good information for your next book.
Excellent perspective and depth picture, splendid through this fence with sight on the garden in background.
Sharpness and colors are pleasant for look at.
Nice done, TFS.
daddo (26786) 2011-03-07 4:13
Merhaba Bulent Bey. Very effective composition which uses contrast dramatically between the black wrought iron gates and the soft and gentle colours of the river, its banks and the tree.Nicely managed light in this difficult setting. Selamlar. Klaudio.
Bluejeans (64251) 2011-03-07 4:19
Ola Bulent ,
Muito bonita esta tua composição com este portão de ferro a entrada da universidade , achei lindo a paisagem de fundo que lindo parque , bons detalhes de natureza , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
elenimahera (695) 2011-03-07 9:33
a gate with a view!!!!A beatifully composed picture that looks like a painting!!!My compliments!!!
BWJ (3094) 2011-03-07 18:44
The stately splendor of your photograph captures the essence of this storied place. It is absolutely beautiful. Fog offers a lot of atmosphere and in this case a painterly feeling which evokes the feeling of springtime. I like it very much. Your note is superb.
jmcl (14535) 2011-03-07 19:14
It is wonderful to see you here .. I was hoping to ..
Great image of darkness looking into light that works with your note .. and of course looking out into the thoughtful tree .. very nice. Great note as always ..
hope you and yours are well.
ymrk (15079) 2011-03-08 1:54
İnsanın içinde umut uyandıran bir fotoğraf..Mükemmel bir kompozisyon!
Ellerinizden öperim hocam,saygı ile.
cagla (4246) 2011-03-08 5:02
Gerçekten Newton'un orjinal çalışmalarına mı dokundunuz? Bu çok etkileyici, fotoğrafınızı fizikçi oğlumla paylaşmalıyım hemen.. Büyük Üniversiteler boşuna büyük olmuyorlar.. Bu cennete açılan kapı görüntüsü de müthiş. Harika bir bakış açısı ve kadraj olmuş, nefis görüntü, elinize sağlık Bülent Bey, tebrik ederim.
corjan3 (2109) 2011-03-09 5:09
Your fascinating note earns full marks, and with the beautiful image added, your contribution here is fabulous. Thank you.
Kielia (24077) 2011-03-09 6:52
this is an impression that is very much to my liking! You have excellently captured the wonderful atmosphere of this place! A beautiful light is illuminating this fascinating scenery. My compliments, also for the excellent note!
patdeph (35748) 2011-03-10 22:03
the tree is superbly placed through the beautiful gate,and the slightly mist and the soft colors give a nice and quiet atmosphere. A beautiful invitation to enter.Thanks for the very intersting note.
resat1972 (7576) 2011-03-11 4:04
Bülent Bey Merhaba,
Güzelliğe açılan kapı, arka fon buradan bile muthiş görünüyor
serp2000 (44177) 2011-03-11 6:39
I like this view of the opened doors to the garden.
Good idea and excellent realisation. The sharpness and colours are perfect.
Very interesting note! TFS!
Have a great weekend!
geoant68 (331) 2011-03-11 7:49
the open door with the existence of the tree in the foggy environment make the scene superb.
ingvar (2088) 2011-03-11 8:06
this shot gives me the strength to move forward in the dark moments, recalling that after every difficult transition black and closed, there will be a strip full of beautiful forms and colors!
Have a nice WE!
ciakgiak (30431) 2011-03-11 11:49
Ciao caro Bulent,
molto bella e poetica quest'immagine, il paesaggio al di là dell'inferriata sembra una splendida tela, l'idea è vincente, perfetta la realizzazione e l'effetto finale.
Ottima la non facile gestione della luce, superbi i colori, bravissimo.
Un caro abbraccio
Graal (102858) 2011-03-12 0:23
very nice details of gate, fine artistic work. Pleasant place in BG also. Good informations and well done photo.
Have a nice day.
bukitgolfb301 (41820) 2011-03-12 1:22
First of all, I would like you to thank you very much for your warm regards. Frankly the present condition
in Japan is very severe, now we are afraid of another earthquake attack, tsunami and "leakage of radiation" from the disorderd nuclear power statoins. But we have to overcome these trials by braveness and effort.
This posting from you has very peaceful, solemn and calm atmosphere as usual. The damaged areas this time should get recover like this soonest, even though it takes time.
Thanks for your sharing the finest posting and giving
photoray (13981) 2011-03-12 8:43
Like everyone else, an impressive composition for the ornate gate foreground and typical English misty background, and a bonus with your excellent informative notes.
Good job, cheers,
zoomer (6) 2011-03-12 14:43
Greetings,an inspired idea to contrast this gate with the watercolor like outside.Very effective and beautiful result.Friendly regards Wolf.
delpeoples (58030) 2011-03-13 1:21
Hello dear Bulent
What really strikes me here is the excellent light management. The extremes of light and shade have been controlled superbly. I love the mist, the atmosphere is eerie and very suggestive. Wonderful soft colour and you have created an atmosphere of romance.
TFS and I wish you a lovely weekend
jlbrthnn (76037) 2011-03-13 10:28
I understand the pride to have been student or professor in such a big university. I like the mystery of this half-opened gate which allows the passage of the darkness the light. It is a creative composition, and good quality. Bravo.
Have a nice sunday
mauro61 (52855) 2011-03-13 16:41
un bel controluce che mostra al meglio la struttura del cancello e apre la vista sul parco.
Colori delicati e perfetta luce,
Charo (51212) 2011-03-15 10:53
A very beautiful image which looks through the bars of the gate, with the atmosphere a little hazy as property in the country.
Excellent point of view and details.
annjackman (21899) 2011-03-16 11:30
Your note is really interesting. Cambridge is beautiful this time of the year with the daffodils and crocus flowering on the lawns by the river. It is an inspiring city and university. I have attended conferences in several of the colleges and never cease to be overwhelmed with the sense of history and discovery. Good to see you were there so recently and captured this lovely picture looking through the gate to the river and willows beyond.
Kind Regards, Ann
yedirenk (11244) 2011-03-16 16:43
merhaba Bülent hocam,
harika bir bakış..özgürlüğe açılan bir kapı sanki..arka plan tablo gibi.ışık ve detaylar huzur veriyor.kapının zarif demir işçiliği ayrı güzel.elinize sağlık.selamlar,sevgiler
JCG (35129) 2011-03-16 23:13
By reading your note I understand your satisfaction to return as a guest in this memorable university full with good memories Beautiful and interesting photograph where you play judiciously with the lights to emphasize this superb gate and to show the pleasant environment of this famous university. Good glance, thank you Bülent.
With all my friendships and with soon,
Urs (14082) 2011-03-17 17:19
A romantic and pensive shot a vista through a door, what this year has to offer? I like the composition a lot, it is so natural. Good light management and fine pastel color hues. Well done.
Your workshop of my shot of the valley looks good, a bit less harsh then my version. I should have taken more time to look at my shot and what I did in photoshop, but in the past few weeks I was very busy and as I see it, I will be busy for weeks. However I will try to visit TE more frequently and to upload new shots - that;s life. Next week I will be at the Bangkok motor show.
jaywalker (16101) 2011-03-19 5:35
Hi Bulent, A very nice photo well composed, the POV from in to out was brilliantly chosen & has allowed the large gate to be silhouetted superbly, the tranquil background is great, TFS, kind regards Wilson.
jafadabret (56501) 2011-03-19 6:51
La note explicative est excellente et nous permet presque de lire par dessus ton épaule et celle de Newton pour découvrir la pensée de Dieu. J'aime beaucoup cette photo qui nous ferait passer de l'obscurité à la lumière et à l'ordre divin. J'aime beaucoup cette atmosphère de sérénité.
Didi (60588) 2011-03-19 9:18
Salam my friend
Interesting management between shades and lights and nice misty view on the park.
Nice quiet ambiance.
TopGeo (38216) 2011-03-20 12:15
Hello Bulet! I read what you wrote important occasion of the entrance door of the library! I think looking at an entry and exit become, depending on where you are But if the choice is the right time and with excellent use! the result depends on whether it will be a success! Charming and worthwhile idea!
s_lush (16134) 2011-03-21 1:07
The scene in your picture reproduces a special atmosphere of this famous educational center perfectly. Also the picture is a very good illustration for the highly interesting story about the history of Oxford and Cambridge provided by you in the very informative note. In the picture, the elegant gate makes a highly aesthetic frame for the marvelous wintertime scene. Excellent presentation of this historic place!
paura (47186) 2011-03-21 7:37
Great composition here, friend. Perfect settings to show us this pure art job.
paololg (31448) 2011-03-22 9:38
Ciao dear Bulent,
among your qualities there is surely the way with which you compose your photos. The choice of this POV has been genial, putting this iron embroidery before to a beautiful landscape. The perfect shapness of the gate opposes in pleasant way with the soft tones of color in the BG. Congratulations, another excellent shot!
Ciao, have a nice day!
pablominto (53746) 2011-03-26 22:27
I like the fine contrast between the wrought iron gate and the misty park!
And even if this is a lovely composition that conveys the mood very well, this time I read the fine note with an equal interest...
Angshu (56758) 2011-03-27 4:59
Dear Professor 'A'
Your notes are always a joy to read & everytime teaches me something new.
A fine picture of the iron gate opening out to the misty gardens...exposure has been well managed & the softness so well rendered
Thanks also for the WS post of Lord Rees
With Warmest Regards
Vasa (515) 2011-03-27 14:54
I read your note in spite of my bad English. You have always something to tell and something to show. And you keep the level of ineterest and of the quality. Proud of you, friend.
kordinator (20519) 2011-04-01 23:49
Fantastic and creative composition.
I like it very much.
Amazing gate with wonderful tree in the background.
Beautiful colors and perfect sharpness.
Perfect exposure and light managment.
Very well informative note.
lucasgalodoido (22304) 2011-04-07 14:58
curious view from this old iron door, and this place like a wonderful park. Great job, my friend.
m (0) 2011-04-08 12:32
What an excellent shot so beautifully composed! I like the way the open door invites you to the background of the image giving it a stunning depth. Fantastic mood - so fragile and light, looks like there's a very romantic story behind it.
ines8 (6112) 2011-04-25 13:27
Splendid and very sensitive composition,and a note which impresses me in all points of view.Congratulation for this beautiful and remarkable
nobuikehonda (3848) 2011-05-09 20:41
I first of all must thank you for your generous words on my unworthy photographs. I am always infinitely grateful for you kindness and understandings. It is simply unthinkable to imagine to receive so many valuable comments from a man of your stature. I thank you.
The image presented above for me speaks of a symbolism. An open gate, which represents an invitation, and welcoming. I can imagine yourself discovering an extraordinary out of a simple open gate. It is no mistake, I am writing to a man with a remarkable capacity for life.
A dark passageway contrasted by light, and beyond exists a splendid nature as if I am witnessing words such as aspiration, desire, and expectations. It gives me an illusion as if I am also standing at the threshold of this gate and about to move across from the darkness to a world full of hopes and desire. I am certain that I will come back to this image again. It gives me hope, prospect, peace, and above all courage.
I thank you for sharing this particular image with us. Once again, I will always be grateful for your kindness. I thank you.
baddori (20133) 2012-07-14 10:29
Grazie , cancello finemente lavorato e prospettiva aperta ad uno scenario, delicato e finemente riprodotto .
Il mio cancello è pendant , alle silhuettes dei sacerdoti con abito talare.
Una piacevole condivisione .
gus72 (3719) 2012-11-24 11:42
Hi Bulent !!
this is a very nice photo with contrasting colours, the gates at the front are more than good enough for the photo...... and then as a bonus you captured the idillic rural setting. Magnificent.
The transition from science to art, is not easy, and few people would have the mental discipline and sensitivity to be able to comprehend both..... so congratulations to you
Have a nice week end
Cheers from Australia
ikeharel (71355) 2015-10-02 1:25
Though it is foggy and misty outside, the gate is "inviting" the viewer to look at the beautiful nature outside.
A fine photography technique, taken this from shaded area inside to the outdoor's surroundings.
Pleasent to look at.