Home/ News / World/  Elon Musk receives letter from his 'almost' Stanford professor. See post

Tech giant Elon Musk has shared an old letter that he received from William D Nix, professor (Emeritus) at Stanford University. The billionaire wrote that Dr Nix would have been his professor if he hadn't put his "Grad studies on (permanent) deferment".

The introductory part of the letter revealed that the Stanford professor was responding to one of Musk's interviews. dr Nix wrote, " In a recent interview entitled: Elon Musk on the Early Days of Tesla: Interview Part 1, which was posted on YouTube, you mentioned meeting me at Stanford in 1995 as your prospective professor if you had enrolled in a graduate program at Stanford".

According to Investopedia, Musk was 24 years old when he moved to California to pursue PhD in Applied Physics at Stanford University. However, with entrepreneurial vision dancing in his head, Musk left the PhD programme after just two days. He dropped out of the prestigious institute in 1995. The SpaceX CEO got admission to Stanford after bagging two bachelor's degrees.

Further, in the letter, the professor praised Musk's description of the issues of using silicon for anodes for lithium batteries. The professor wrote, "About 10 years ago we at Stanford did research on the very issues you described. Indeed, it almost seemed like you had read all of our papers. As a part of the work we did, we found that since the crumbling of Si on lithiation is associated with the amorphization of crystalline Si, less crumbling can be achieved by starting with amorphous Si in the first place. Much larger Si particles can be lithiated without cracking if they are initially in the amorphous state. Using amorphous Si as particles in a carbon matrix might allow much higher volume fractions of Si to be loaded into carbon anodes. For all I know, someone may have already patented this idea".

As Musk posted the letter on Twitter, the comment section was swamped with various opinions. One user commented, “Imagine you continued your studies instead of developing companies. You might be professor and There would be no Tesla, SpaceX or even PayPal. What a weird time line it would have been".

Another user wrote, “Very nice note. So nice when people take the time to write, or send thoughts like that. Usually those sentiments go unsaid, they matter. When the heart speaks, share it. Hats off to Prof Nix for taking the time".

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Updated: 22 Aug 2022, 11:03 AM IST
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