It’s very nice to discover humor in a paper that I thought I knew all too well. Above is a a Feynman diagram taken from said paper. Although not as cute as a penguin, it might compete with other dog renditions in popular culture.
To celebrate the near end of the quarter I thought I would publish a photo of a blackboard near my office captured a few days ago.
The bottom equation proves that it comes from a bona fide physics department blackboard, although to me it seems that there might be a factor of missing . Well, maybe it can be counted as circumstantial evidence for coming from a blackboard in a physics department.
Let us say that I have been getting weird fortune cookies lately. It is my belief that whoever makes them is getting more inventive with what they dare put into such messages. Apart from fortunes of the type
You will travel far in the near future
I’ve been getting professional help from these cookies. For example, a couple of weeks ago I got one that went like this:
It is better to be approximately right than certainly wrong
Which is some of the best advice for physics I have ever heard. I’ve had other such that seem to resonate with my profession. Today’s was particularly funny:
You could prosper in the field of wacky inventions
If a colleague would tell me that I would be willing to bet that he thinks I am a crackpot. Oh well. Share your own.
There are entire libraries of coffee table conversations about the multiverse. A lot of them explore the what if and are usually fun over a couple of drinks. When its done professionally however… On second thought I think I’ll not go there this time around.
There is an online comic that is devoted entirely to the bizarre occurrences of the multiverse: it is aptly called “Scenes of a multiverse“. I recommend it highly. Usually you can expect intelligent Hamsters and evil geniuses running amok. The one today is particularly apt if you’re up to snuff on the inner debates of academic multiverses: that it is a dream of something (aka, the simulated universe, aka The Matrix) and that there is no testable prediction, but postdictions aplenty. Or at least one.
If you’re in the mood for it, you might want to read some of the books by Michael Moorcock. They give you a different view of the multiverse.
I remember the promises of the future: we would all have our personal jets. Cars would have glass domes. We would all have robots doing everything for us and the computers would have conversations with us. Moreover we would all be eating like astronauts: pills for breakfast lunch and dinner, with the occasional toothpaste tube full of nourishment. I also remember that all children would be born from big water tanks, they would be immune to all diseases and there would be a pill to cure cancer. We would also teleport from one place to another. We should have conquered the other planets in the solar system by 2010. Space travel would be commonplace and safe. And the year 2k bug would be the end of the world.
Here’s something to celebrate all those failed predictions:
Professional banter is as old as professions. This is a dramatization of my idle chatter on Saturday, when I bumped into someone that does condensed matter physics for a living. Bear in mind that this was a fun conversation and we were laughing all around.
Other person: I heard you do physics.
Other person: What kind of physics?
Me: I work on high energy theory, more precisely string theory and such.
Other person: Ha ha. That’s not considered to be `physics’ in my community.
Me: I’m also interested in quantum computing …
Other person: There is still hope for you.
Well, seeing how many times I’ve heard the phrase “that’s not physics” uttered in different contexts when talking about different sub-communities of physicists as relating to each other I can happily say that I don’t do physics, even though I do.