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Friday, February 8, 2013

Dictum

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM

A review of the life of physicist Arthur Wightman,
who died at 90 on January 13th, 2013. yields 
the following.

Wightman at Wikipedia:
"His graduate students include
 Arthur Jaffe,  Jerrold Marsden, and Alan Sokal."

"I think of Arthur as the spiritual leader
of mathematical physics and his death
really marks the end of an era."

— Arthur Jaffe in News at Princeton , Jan. 30

Marsden at Wikipedia
"He [Marsden] has laid much of the foundation for
symplectic topology." (Link redirects to symplectic geometry.)

A Wikipedia reference in the symplectic geometry article leads to

THE SYMPLECTIZATION OF SCIENCE:
Symplectic Geometry Lies at the Very
Foundations of Physics and Mathematics

Mark J. Gotay
Department of Mathematics
University of Hawai‘i

James A. Isenberg
Institute of Theoretical Science and Department of Mathematics
University of Oregon

February 18, 1992

Acknowledgments:

We would like to thank Jerry Marsden and Alan Weinstein
for their comments on previous drafts.

Published in: Gazette des Mathématiciens  54, 59-79 (1992).

Opening:

"Physics is geometry .  This dictum is one of the guiding
principles of modern physics. It largely originated with
Albert Einstein…."

A different account of the dictum:

The strange term Geometrodynamics 
is apparently due to Wheeler.

Physics may or may not be geometry, but
geometry is definitely not physics.

For some pure geometry that has no apparent 
connection to physics, see this journal
on the date of Wightman's death.

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