Wednesday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Balance.
  2. Not crying over split milk, it’s the thumb. Deal with it.
  3. Cardboard and the bike. More here.
  4. How times have changed, gosh now it’s acceptable to hate men. Seems to me the problem is the who it’s the verb.
  5. Nature + industry = art.
  6. Meta linking.
  7. I wonder why Ms Lovelace has captured the imagination in a way Ms Noether hasn’t. The latter was a far more prominent and influential modern intellect. Is it anti-Semitism?
  8. That question in itself answers this question.
  9. Art as societies mirror or not.
  10. Ya want full employment? Easy, remove (almost all of) the safety net. Poof, even those well paying jobs in the Dakotas and coal industry our 20 somethings won’t touch will be taken.
  11. Not necessarily for the young at heart, just the young hearts.
  12. A crisis from a different point of view.
  13. It’s not stealth, it’s right there out in the open.
  14. Syrian WMD.

10 Responses to Wednesday Highlights

  1. Is it anti-Semitism?

    Ugh, why do I get creeped out every time you mention antisemitism? It’s more than just wolf-crying, it’s like you’re using it as part of this narrative of reality that has more to do with your politics and religious beliefs than it does with reality. It’s obviously a fair question here, given the time and place of Noether’s life, but still. Maybe if you hadn’t already cried wolf a few times I wouldn’t feel that way.

    Having done a little research recently on Lovelace (“Ada” was in the running for our daughter’s name) it seems to me like there was a conscious effort to “sell” her as a kind of celebrity even during her lifetime. Also, she was a Countess and a child of Lord Frickin’ Byron. Obviously, that’s going to increase your visibility.

  2. Well Ada also is in a field most of us can connect with at some level if you describe her as the first computer programmer and the working with a chap who proposed to build a computer but couldn’t get the project off the ground and was viewed as a bit of a crank…don’t we all see now what he was on to?

    Wikipedia’s entry on Noether tells me
    she revolutionized the theories of rings, fields, and algebras. In physics, Noether’s theorem explains the fundamental connection between symmetry and conservation laws.[4]

    This is not an area where most people feel a connection….most will say something like “you mean there’s more than one algebra?….yea in HS there was algebra I and algebra II” In contrast saying Lovelace was an early computer programmer is something most people can at least think they understand.

  3. Boonton,

    In physics, Noether’s theorem explains the fundamental connection between symmetry and conservation laws.[4]

    Well that’s putting it mildly. Emmy Noether’s theorem puts her on equal footing her with Bohr, Schroedinger, Dirac, and Heisenberg in the importance of their contributions to 20th century Physics. You’ve heard of the other guys, why not Noether?

    Have they heard of Bohr or Heisenberg? How about Einstein. If the answer is yes, then they should have heard of Noether. Her work is that important. Gauge theory would be impossible without her little theorem.

    It’s obviously a fair question here, given the time and place of Noether’s life, but still.

    You mean, having fled Germany in the 30s? Just now I’m listening (audible) while driving to jobs and such to “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larsen (you know to fulfill my conservative bubble membership). I hadn’t realized how prevalent anti-semitism was in the States in the 30s.

    Ugh, why do I get creeped out every time you mention antisemitism?

    Probably your bigotry against conservatives plays a role. I have no clue what you mean about wolf crying. Ya wanna throw me a hint?

  4. Have they heard of Bohr or Heisenberg? How about Einstein. If the answer is yes, then they should have heard of Noether

    Bohr from his elementary atomic model- head of

    Heisenberg – Uncertainity principle heard of.

    Einstein – got the Nobel, the funny hair, the celebrity plus E=MC2 is simple enough for anyone to ‘know’ quickly.

    Gauge theory would be impossible without her little theorem.

    Never heard of Gauge theory. Might the problem here be that her work hasn’t been extensively popularized and/or she doesn’t have theorems that are generally taught at the more elementary level?

    I hadn’t realized how prevalent anti-semitism was in the States in the 30s.

    Ohhh yes, it wasn’t unusual for college to put quotas on Jews (as in a cap on the number of Jews allowed, kind of a reverse affirmative action). But your anti-semitism hypothesis doesn’t seem to work very well here. Many other famous scientists and mathematicians were Jewish and that didn’t stop them from achieving celebrity (Einstein, of course, being the primary one here).

  5. Boonton,
    So what Theoretical developments in Physics have you ever heard of after 1920?

    Have you heard of Feynman? Yang and Mills? Higgs?

  6. Boonton,
    Oh, and

    Heisenberg – Uncertainity principle heard of.

    Ok. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle hinges on exactly the sort of duality that Noether’s theorem deals with, that is conjugate variables. Energy/time, position,momentum. Heisenberg’s principle indicates you can only have so much certainty in these paired variables. Emmy Noether showed that where you have symmetry in one, the other is conserved.

    Have you heard of conservation of momentum? How about conservation of energy? Angular momentum? Charge? These all derive from the Noether theorem … and that last one via gauge theories … which are the be all and end all since the mid 1920s when geometry came back in full force into Physics.

  7. Boonton,
    Maxwell’s equations are a U(1) (circle group) gauge theory, via Noether charge is conserved.

  8. So what Theoretical developments in Physics have you ever heard of after 1920?

    Have you heard of Feynman? Yang and Mills? Higgs?

    Feynman yes. Higgs yes. Yang and Mills no. String theory yes, various multiverse hypothesises, yes. Hawkin, yes. Then I do tend to veer towards those Cosmos like documentaries you’ll find on the History and Science channels and if I’m killing time at B&N I’ll peruse popular physics books.

    Have you heard of conservation of momentum? How about conservation of energy? Angular momentum? Charge? These all derive from the Noether theorem

    Yes, but ‘heard of’ is the key here. I’ve never really worked with any of these equations hence my ‘feel’ for them is only as you describe them in popular tellings. It sounds like Noether’s better appreciated by those who actually have done the math either as part of their real life jobs or even as homework assignments, which is a set I don’t belong too and the majority of the population doesn’t either.

  9. Boonton,
    Well, I started to write a reply … and it got bigger. It’s now a post. For which I thank you.

  10. Boonton,
    BTW, if you like popular science stuff .. and need reading for your train commute, I’d recommend the George Gamow “Mr Tompkins” series/books. George Gamow was the theorist who suggested the microwave background radiation as evidence of the big bang if I remember correctly. But his little short stories on relativity and quantum mechanics are accessible and enjoyable.

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