Thursday, October 3, 2019

Quarks for Poets

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:53 PM

The title was suggested by a recent New Yorker  poem.

From NewScientist.com

Related material: The remarks of Mysterio in "Spider-Man: Far From Home."

The Overbye Metaphors

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

(For Harlan Kane)

"Once Mr. Overbye identifies a story, he said, the work is
in putting it in terms people can understand. 'Metaphors
are very important to the way I write,' he said. The results
are vivid descriptions that surpass mere translation."

— Raillan Brooks in The New York Times  on a Times
science writer, October 17, 2017.  Also on that date —

"There is  such a thing as a 4-set."
— Saying adapted from a 1962 young-adult novel.

See as well The Black List (Log24, September 27).

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"

Thursday, September 19, 2019


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"… objects have a notion of 'this' or 'self.' " — Wikipedia

For related notions, see other posts tagged Quark Rock and

"Before time began, there was the Cube." — Optimus Prime

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Toy Problems

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:45 AM

The above story's conclusion —

" … the current state of the art in quantum computing is still
not quite ready for solving anything but toy problems and
testing basic algorithms."

From "Annals of Square Space" (Log24, Sept. 3, 2019) —

" 'Before I go somewhere for a story, I have a certain understanding of
what form it will take, and when I get there, it’s always far, far more
complicated,' says the journalist and poet Eliza Griswold, over lunch
in Gramercy Park.  'They begin with a neat little bow' — she pantomimes
tying it, her wide blue eyes growing wider — 'and then:  kaboom.' ”

— VOGUE Lives: Eliza Griswold, August 27, 2010, 9:10 AM,
     by Megan O'Grady

Battle Song

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:53 AM

Catch 22 song: 'Straighten Up and Fly Right'

The Perpetual Identity Crisis

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:56 AM

"There is  such a thing as a 4-set." — Saying adapted
from a 1962 young-adult novel.

Midrash — An image posted here on August 6


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:01 AM

“I” as black monolith:



Roman numeralĀ I
as well as capital I.

Dimensions: 6×1.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

For Cambridge 38*

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:03 PM

* A reference to a Harvard Crimson  article from February 28, 1963.

The Quarks and the Rock

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:30 AM

Excerpt from a long poem by Eliza Griswold 
in the current New Yorker

Monday, September 16, 2019


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:01 AM

"Elementary particles are the most fundamental building blocks
of nature, and their study would seem to be an expression of
simplification in its purest form. The essence of complexity
research, by contrast, is the emergence of new kinds of order
that are only manifest when systems are large and messy."

— Sean Carroll in an opinion piece that concludes as follows:

The above plug for Sean Carroll's book
The Big Picture : On the Origins of
Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself

'Forty-two' in 'The Padre'

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