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John R. Hansen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John R. Hansen
John R. Hansen.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1967
Preceded byBen F. Jensen
Succeeded byWilliam J. Scherle
Personal details
BornAugust 24, 1901
Manning, Iowa, United States
DiedSeptember 23, 1974(1974-09-23) (aged 73)
Des Moines, Iowa
Political partyDemocratic

John Robert Hansen (August 24, 1901 – September 23, 1974) served one term, from January 3, 1965 to January 3, 1967, as a Democratic U.S. Representative from Iowa. He and Tom Harkin are the only two Democrats to have represented southwestern Iowa in the U.S. House since the end of the Great Depression.

A native and lifelong resident of Manning, Iowa, Hansen attended the Manning public schools. He attended the University of Iowa from 1919 to 1921. He and his wife Mary Lou were the parents of two children, Robert and Jack.[1]

After serving as a sales representative, general manager, and president of Dultmeier Manufacturing Co., of Manning, Iowa from 1921 to 1962, he served as president of Dultmeier Sales, in Omaha, Nebraska from 1934 to 1957.

Hansen had been politically active in Democratic politics for many years. He served as member of the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee from 1932 to 1944, and as its chairman from 1944 to 1952. He served as district committeeman on the Democratic State Central Committee from 1952 to 1957, and as Sixth Congressional District Democratic chairman from 1953 to 1957. He was twice a delegate to Democratic National Convention, in 1948 and 1964. He served as the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 1960, but lost to W.L. Mooty.

Hansen also served in several appointive positions in Iowa state government. He served as member of the Board of Control of State Institutions from 1957 to 1960. He also was a member of executive council of the Governor's Alcoholism Commission and the Commission on Interstate Cooperation from 1957 to 1960.

In 1963, Hansen's close friend,[2] Harold Hughes, was elected Governor of Iowa. When Hansen ran for the Democratic nomination for the Iowa's 7th congressional district in 1964, the vote was forced to a convention after none of the six candidates received over 35 percent of the vote in a primary.[2] In the convention, on the ninth ballot, Hansen won the Democratic nomination without a single vote to spare.[2]

In the 1964 general election (when Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson defeated Republican Barry Goldwater by a landslide, and the Democratic majority in the House increased by 48 seats[3]), Hansen defeated longtime Republican incumbent Ben F. Jensen. However, Hansen was one of many Midwestern Democrats elected to Congress from Republican-leaning districts in 1964 who served only a single term.[4] In 1966 Hansen was defeated in his run for re-election by William Scherle, a conservative Republican member of the Iowa House of Representatives from Mills County, Iowa.

After returning from Washington, Hansen served as member of the Iowa State Highway Commission, from February 1967 until retirement on July 1, 1969. He died in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 23, 1974. He was interred in Manning Cemetery, Manning, Iowa.

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  • ✪ String Theory Explained – What is The True Nature of Reality?
  • ✪ John Christy on The Economics and Politics of Climate Change
  • ✪ Fama and Hansen Discuss Winning Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics


What is the true nature of the universe? To answer this question, humans come up with stories to describe the world. We test our stories and learn what to keep and what to throw away. But the more we learn, the more complicated and weird our stories become. Some of them so much so, that it's really hard to know what they're actually about. Like string theory. A famous, controversial and often misunderstood story, about the nature of everything. Why did we come up with it and is it correct? Or just an idea we should chuck out? To understand the true nature of reality, we looked at things up close and were amazed. Wonderous landscapes in the dust, zoos of bizarre creatures, complex protein robots. All of them made from structures of molecules made up of countless even smaller things: Atoms. We thought they were the final layer of reality, until we smashed them together really hard and discovered things that can't be divided anymore: Elementary particles. But now, we had a problem: They are so small that we could no longer look at them. Think about it: what is seeing? To see something, we need light, an electromagnetic wave. This wave hits the surface of the thing and gets reflected back from it into your eye. The wave carries information from the object that your brain uses to create an image. So you can't see something without somehow interacting with it. Seeing is touching, an active process, not a passive one. This is not a problem with most things. But particles are But particles are very, But particles are very, very, But particles are very, very, very small. So small that the electromagnetic waves we used to see are too big to touch them. Visible light just passes over them. We can try to solve this by creating electromagnetic waves with more and much smaller wavelengths. But more wavelengths, means more energy. So, when we touch a particle with a wave that has a lot of energy it alters it. By looking at a particle, we change it. So, we can't measure elementary particles precisely. This fact is so important that it has a name: The Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The basis of all quantum physics. So, what does a particle look like then? What is its nature? We don't know. If we look really hard, we can see a blurry sphere of influence, but not the particles themselves. We just know they exist. But if that's the case, how can we do any science with them? We did what humans do and invented a new story: A mathematical fiction. The story of the point particle. We decided that we would pretend that a particle is a point in space. Any electron is a point with a certain electric charge and a certain mass. All indistinguishable from each other. This way physicists could define them and calculate all of their interactions. This is called Quantum Field Theory, and solved a lot of problems. All of the standard model of particle physics is built on it and it predicts lots of things very well. Some quantum properties of the electron for example have been tested and are accurate up to 0, 0,00 0,0000 0,000000 0,00000000 0,0000000000 0,000000000000 0,0000000000002 %. So, while particles are not really points, by treating them as if they were, we get a pretty good picture of the universe. Not only did this idea advance science, it also led to a lot of real-world technology we use everyday. But there's a huge problem: Gravity. In quantum mechanics, all physical forces are carried by certain particles. But according to Einstein's general relativity, gravity is not a force like the others in the universe. If the universe is a play, particles are the actors, but gravity is the stage. To put it simply, gravity is a theory of geometry. The geometry of space-time itself. Of distances, which we need to describe with absolute precision. But since there is no way to precisely measure things in the quantum world, our story of gravity doesn't work with our story of quantum physics. When physicists tried to add gravity to the story by inventing a new particle, their mathematics broke down and this is a big problem. If we could marry gravity to quantum physics and the standard model, we would have the theory of everything. So, very smart people came up with a new story. They asked: What is more complex than a point? A line- A line or a string. String theory was born. What makes string theory so elegant, is that it describes many different elementary particles as different modes of vibration of the string. Just like a violin string vibrating differently can give you a lot of different notes, a string can give you different particles Most importantly, this includes gravity. String theory promised to unify all fundamental forces of the universe. This caused enormous excitement and hype. String theory quickly graduated to a possible theory of everything Unfortunately, string theory comes with a lot of strings attached. Much of the maths involving a consistent string theory does not work in our universe with its three spatial and one temporal dimensions. String theory requires ten dimensions to work out. So, string theorists did calculations in model universes. And then try to get rid of the six additional dimensions and describe our own universe But so far, nobody has succeeded and no prediction of string theory has been proven in an experiment So, string theory did not reveal the nature of our universe. One could argue that in this case string theory really isn't useful at all. Science is all about experiments and predictions. If we can't do those, why should we bother with strings? It really is all about how we use it. Physics is based on maths. Two plus two makes four. This is true no matter how you feel about it. And the maths in string theory does work out. That's why string theory is still useful. Imagine that you want to build a cruise ship, but you only have blueprints for a small rowing boat. There are plenty of differences: the engine, the engine, the materials, the engine, the materials, the scale. But both things are fundamentally the same: Things that float. So, by studying the rowing boat blueprints, you might still learn something about how to build a cruise ship eventually. With string theory, we can try to answer some questions about quantum gravity that have been puzzling physicists for decades. Such as how black holes work or the information paradox. String theory may point us in the right direction. When used in this spirit, string theory becomes a precious tool for theoretical physicists and help them discover new aspects of the quantum world and some beautiful mathematics. So, maybe the story of string theory is not the theory of everything. But just like the story of the point particle, it may be an extremely useful story. We don't yet know what the true nature of reality is but we'll keep coming up with stories to try and find out. Until one day, Until one day, hopefully Until one day, hopefully, we do know. This video was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and realized with the scientific advice of Alessandro Sfondrini.


  1. ^ "Iowa's Political Families Move to Washington," Ames Daily Tribune, 1964-12-18, at 3.
  2. ^ a b c "Democrats in 7th Nominate Hansen," Des Moines Register, 1964-07-09, at 9.
  3. ^ "A Question of How Big," Time Magazine, 4 November 1966.
  4. ^ "Heartland Recaptured," Time Magazine, 18 November 1966.
  • United States Congress. "John R. Hansen (id: H000173)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ben F. Jensen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 7th congressional district

January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1967 (obsolete district)
Succeeded by
William J. Scherle
This page was last edited on 24 August 2019, at 04:15
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