Science to Science Fiction

As a child, there was no father figure or teachers to inspire me as to what I should become. There was nothing to release the ‘hidden gem or flower’ as Grey’s Elegy in a Country Churchyard dwells on as he looks at the churchyard tombstones wondering what could these people have been if something had changed their lives. My inspiration came in the discovery of science fiction, the science contained in these stories that made me become a successful scientist. I have returned to that inspiration by writing science fiction, in part based on the science I did. I hope that my stories are enjoyed as much as I enjoyed those I read in my youth. Perhaps in some way they will also inspire an interest in the science that underlies the basis of science fiction.  


A poem that inspired scientist and author,  what lies within.

“Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The Dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”

Thomas Gray  ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard“.

Discovering Science through Science Fiction

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In the library in Joliet Illinois reading science fiction as a youth (Photo by Cara Flynn)

Where has the science fiction led to the science?

The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos New Mexico





Discoveries in nuclear physics, magnetism, nanotechnology, brain research, and a new method for detecting cancer:

Superparamagnetic Relaxometry (SPMR)

Science fiction published on that followed the science

The Medicine Man’s Visitor  Ben was once the greatest of the great Medicine Men. Now a strange visitor from another universe is needing his special gifts, not only to help his people but to save the world from an invasion of monsters.

The Silent World: Volume I of the Goddess of Creation TrilogyThe ship is almost destroyed by a gamma-ray burst from one of the thousands of satellites surrounding the planet. Attempts to contact the civilization on the planet are met with silence; why will the planet not acknowledge their attempts to talk to it?

Maya, Goddess of Creation: Volume II of the Goddess of Creation Trilogy Once a silent planet to visiting spaceships, the planet Creation has opened itself up to human visitors from a newly arrived ship from Earth. Expecting to be met by the sentient computer entity that has ruled this world since his appearance  long ago, they are Instead met by a beautiful human-appearing woman named Maya.

Brent: Volume III of the Goddess of Creation Trilogy The fleet of spaceships has a mission, destroy all the machines that have infested the bodies of living beings across the galaxy. Not an easy task,; the machines have to be destroyed without killing the infected bodies under their control.

The Wasted Worlds A young space marine, T’Dien, finishes special training to fight a mysterious alien race, the Cingali, threatening all of humanity. He is singled out because his mind is different than the others.

The Scepter of Tesarus A relic, a scepter, is discovered by a young boy during an archeological expedition in the ruins of an ancient temple on a distant planet. The scepter was the greatest advancement of that civilization, destroyed a million years ago, meant for a young priest giving him the power to rule, but is killed when the temple was destroyed, dying before the scepter could protect him. Now the scepter bonds to the boy, talks to his mind, vows to protect him, help him fight the Gortiki that killed his intended master.

The Anomalous Planet After centuries of travel the star ship to arrives at its target planet. Genie, the sentient computer controlling the ship, awakens the Captain from cryo-sleep only for her to discover a world full of anomalies. The magnetic field is all wrong, the planet wobbles back and forth instead of rotating, and to make matters worse, there are two alien cultures already present.

The above science fiction stories are available on as printed books or can be downloaded for Kindle devices.

The Boy and the Scientist.  Billy should not have noticed the man, he was really too young to pay attention to such things, he was only twelve years old. He went to the park every time he could, it was Billy’s escape from his house, his escape from the world; a world that had not been kind to Billy. Every day he went to the park, there in the afternoon, was that man,  walking with that special walk or sitting at a park bench reading or writing on his tablet.

The above is a short inspirational story (to be published)


Author Brief Biography


PhD                                                    Physics                                   University of New Mexico


Staff Member                                    Los Alamos National Lab    Los Alamos, NM

Nuclear Physics Group leader     Los Alamos National Lab    Los Alamos, NM

Biophysics Group Leader               Los Alamos National Lab    Los Alamos, NM

Fellow                                                  Los Alamos National Lab    Los Alamos, NM

Adjunct Professor                             Physics Dept.                           University of New Mexico

Research Professor                           Computer Engineering       University of New Mexico

Member                                              UNM Cancer Center             University of New Mexico

Honors and Assignments at Various Institutions

NSF-NATO Fellow                            Niels Bohr Institute                  Copenhagen, Denmark

Visiting Professor                             Physics Dept.                             University of Colorado

Von Humboldt Prize winner         Hahn-Meitner Institute         Berlin, Germany

Wellcome Trust Award                   Strathclyde University            Glasgow, Scotland

Fellow                                                  American Physical Society

Fellow                                                  Los Alamos National Laboratory

Companies and Foundations

Founder and Chief Scientist            Senior Scientific, LLC              Albuquerque, NM

Founder and First president            Mind Research Network       Albuquerque, NM


Superconducting Imaging Gradiometry                                              5,008,622

Magnetic Needle Biopsy                                                                      7,309,316 and 8,118,754

Biomagnetic detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease            8,060,179

Magnetic Needle Separation and Optical Monitoring                         9,964,469

Contributions to Science

 Nuclear Physics:  Dr. Flynn’s career as a nuclear physicist spanned some 25 years and specialized in experimental measurements of fundamental modes of nuclear states. This included: a) measurements of single particle states of through nuclear reaction studies using tritium beams from accelerators, b) pairing vibrational states through two-neutron stripping reactions, c) measurements of Gamov-Teller states through charge exchange reactions and heavy ion experiments using carbon-14 beams. Data from pairing vibrational studies were used by A. Bohr and B. Mottelson in their Nobel prize winning nuclear theory and in their book on nuclear theory. Data on Gamov-Teller states were used by W. Fowler in his Nobel prize studies involving the inverse-r process of element buildup.

Four of 170 publications in nuclear physics:

R. A. Broglia, S. Landowne, V. Paar, B. Nilsson, D. R. Bès, E. E. Flynn, Coupling between inelastic and pair transfer degrees of freedom. The 208Pb(t, p) 210Pb(3) reaction analyzed in the coupled channel born approximation, Physics Letters BVolume 36, Issue 618 October 1971, Pages 541-546
E. R. Flynn and R. H. Bassel Importance of the Imaginary Term in Distorted-Wave Born-Approximation Calculations of 3He Inelastic Scattering, Phys. Rev. Lett. 15, 168 (1965)
72) E. R. Flynn and J. D. Garrett, Excitation of the Parent Analogs of the 58Ni Giant M1 Resonance by the Reaction 58Ni(t,h)58Co, Phys. Rev. Lett. 29, 1748 (1972)
W. von Oertzen, E. R. Flynn, J. D. Garrett, and E. Cosman, Supermultiplet Symmetry in the Reaction 3H + 9Be → 6Li + 6He, 6Li* + 6He, Phys. Rev. Lett. 32, 34 (1974)
F. Ajzenberg-Selove, Ronald E. Brown, E. R. Flynn, and J. W. Sunier, (t,3He) reactions on 40,42,44Ca, 46,48,50Ti, 54Cr, and 54Fe, Phys. Rev. C 32, 756 (1985)

Example of nuclear physics results used in the studies of Nobel prize winners Ben Mottelson and Aage Bohr in their book Nuclear Structure Volume 2

nuclear physics

Magnetoencephalography (MEG):  Dr. Flynn was the founder of the biophysics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory with an emphasis on MEG, inverse EM theory, and graphics to carry out basic research in brain imaging and function. Programs in visual, auditory and somatosensory stimuli were performed to provide detailed mapping of function in adult human brains using SQUID sensor arrays. Substantial effort was directed towards the physics of the EM phenomenon associated with MEG and solving for localization of sources in the brain and design of a new technique for SQUID gradiometry. This program was funded by NIBIB and resulted in a patent on magnetic imaging gradiometry.

Four of 65 publications in MEG:

Volegov, R.H. Kraus, Jr., K. Maharajh, A. Matlachov, M. Espy, and E.R. Flynn, Imaging Magnetic Sources in the Presence of Superconducting Surfaces: Model & Experiment, Biomed. Technik, 46:159 (2001)
Akhtari, H. Bryant, A. Mamalek, E. Flynn, L. Heller, J. Shih, M. Mandelkern , A. Matlachov, D. Ranken E. Best, W. Sutherling, Conductivities of Three-Layer Human Skull, Brain Topography 13:1-14 (2000)
van Hulsteyn, A. Petschek, E. Flynn, W. Overton, Superconducting imaging surface magnetometry, Rev. Sci. Instr. 66, 3777-3784. 1995
Arthur, P. Lewis, P. Medvick, E. Flynn, A Neuromagnetic Study of Selective Auditory Attention, EEG 78, p348-360, 1991

Example of SQUID designs and neuromagnetic data from MEG program


Cancer Research. Dr. Flynn’s goal of the superparamagnetic relaxometry (SPMR) program was to use ultrasensitive magnetic SQUID and atomic magnetometer sensors in magnetic relaxometry measurements to provide detection and localization of cells in the body that are responsible for disease. Magnetic nanoparticles (NP) labeled with Ab were used to target cells. Dr. Flynn used his expertise to design magnetic sensors for biophysical applications utilizing the special properties of superparamagnetic nanoparticles. Applications include early detection of transplant rejection and of cancer and other diseases utilizing magnetic markers delivered in-vivo or in-vitro in animals and eventually humans. A magnetic biopsy needle was designed that significantly increases the sensitivity for detection of cancer cells in the marrow and blood. Dr. Flynn has been actively involved in the development of new nanoparticles and coatings with good monodispersity and magnetic strength properties as well as new methods for solving the inverse problem in EM to localize cancer sources from magnetic field measurements.

Four of 16 publications in Cancer Research:

Flynn ER., Bryant, HC., A SQUID based system for in-vivo cancer imaging, PMB 50 (2005) 1273-1293
Jaetao JE, Butler KS, Adolphi NL, Lovato, DM, Bryant HC, Rabinowitz I, Winter SS, Tessier TE, Hathaway HJ, Bergemann C, Flynn ER, and Larson RS, Enhanced Leukemia Cell Detection Using a Novel Magnetic Needle and Nanoparticles, Cancer Res 69 (21)2009, 8310-8316
Hathaway HJ, Butler KS, Adolphi NA, Lovato DM, Belfon R, Fegan DL, Monson TC, Trujillo JE, Tessier TE, Bryant HC, Huber DL, Larson RS, Flynn ER, A novel method for early detection of breast cancer using magnetic nanoparticles and ultra-sensitive magnetic field sensors, Breast Cancer Research 13:R108 (2011) PMID 22035507
Adolphi NA, Butler KS, Lovato DM, Tessier TE, Trujillo JE, Hathaway HJ, Fegan DM, Monson TC, Stevens TE, Huber DL, Ramu J, Milne ML, Conradi MS, Altobelli SA, Larson RS, Flynn ER, Imaging of Her2-targeted magnetic nanoparticles for breast cancer detection, Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging (2012) 7 308-319, PMID 22539401

Example of results of breast cancer studies using SPMR methods.