Friday, September 27, 2019

The Black List

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:46 AM

"… Max Black, the Cornell philosopher, and others have pointed out
how 'perhaps every science must start with metaphor and end with
algebra, and perhaps without the metaphor there would never have
been any algebra' …."

— Max Black, Models and Metaphors, Cornell U. Press, 1962,
page 242, as quoted in Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors, by 
Victor Witter Turner, Cornell U. Press, paperback, 1975, page 25

Metaphor —

Algebra —

The 16 Dirac matrices form six anticommuting sets of five matrices each (Arfken 1985, p. 214):

1. alpha_1alpha_2alpha_3alpha_4alpha_5,

2. y_1y_2y_3y_4y_5,

3. delta_1delta_2delta_3rho_1rho_2,

4. alpha_1y_1delta_1sigma_2sigma_3,

5. alpha_2y_2delta_2sigma_1sigma_3,

6. alpha_3y_3delta_3sigma_1sigma_2.

SEE ALSO:  Pauli Matrices


Arfken, G. Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 3rd ed.  Orlando, FL: Academic Press, pp. 211-217, 1985.

Berestetskii, V. B.; Lifshitz, E. M.; and Pitaevskii, L. P. "Algebra of Dirac Matrices." §22 in Quantum Electrodynamics, 2nd ed.  Oxford, England: Pergamon Press, pp. 80-84, 1982.

Bethe, H. A. and Salpeter, E. Quantum Mechanics of One- and Two-Electron Atoms.  New York: Plenum, pp. 47-48, 1977.

Bjorken, J. D. and Drell, S. D. Relativistic Quantum Mechanics.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.

Dirac, P. A. M. Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 4th ed.  Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Goldstein, H. Classical Mechanics, 2nd ed.  Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, p. 580, 1980.

Good, R. H. Jr. "Properties of Dirac Matrices." Rev. Mod. Phys. 27, 187-211, 1955.

Referenced on Wolfram|Alpha:  Dirac Matrices


Weisstein, Eric W.  "Dirac Matrices."

From MathWorld— A Wolfram Web Resource. 

Desiring the exhilarations of changes:
The motive for metaphor, shrinking from
The weight of primary noon,
The A B C of being,

The ruddy temper, the hammer
Of red and blue, the hard sound—
Steel against intimation—the sharp flash,
The vital, arrogant, fatal, dominant X.

— Wallace Stevens, "The Motive for Metaphor"

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