A pedagogical calculation of a statistical tool is presented for wealth distribution in the US in 2019, followed by some comparisons and comments about our economy.

Discussions of wealth inequality often are general and somewhat vague, and rarely refer to mathematically precise definitions. Wealth inequality can be quantified using a standard statistical metric called the Gini coefficient. The calculation method is easy to understand and has been presented in a number of books and web posts. Here, an illustrative calculation is shown with the aid of Figure 1. The red curve in panel (a) is an arbitrary Lorenz Curve. A…

In July we celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest “leaps of mankind,” the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Conquering space travel and exploring a world a quarter of a million miles away was a triumph of incalculable value. Even though the moon landing was the arguably mankind’s biggest achievement of the century, if not the millennium, there have been times when NASA was asked to name tangible commercial benefits that resulted from its programs. Answers have included freeze-dried food and cordless handheld vacuum cleaners. …

After completing his Ph.D. in Physics, the author had a 30 year career doing basic research at a premier industrial laboratory and a federal research facility.