30 May, 2010

It's even shorter that the shortest article ever!

In comments to my post "The shortest article ever" EastwoodDC pointed out a paper that is even shorter than that: "The Effects of Peanut Butter on the Rotation of the Earth."

This one belongs to the Improbable research project, but still...

Take care,


Laser 50 anniversary

This year it's 50 year anniversary of laser. There is a special website about that, laserfest.org, quite a few interesting links there...

27 May, 2010

Topless models

As you've understood, I do a little literature search now, and I came across the following (Italian) article:

Is there any chance to figure out what the "topless models" are about? It looks like the Google outcome is about something different.

Hm, probably 50 years ago even Italian prime minister was interested in these topless models... :-)

26 May, 2010

The shortest article ever

I'm pretty sure I've posted it somewhere about 3-4 years ago, but anyway. This is the shortest article I've ever seen, it was published in Physical Review:

Guys involved in the 'variation of fundamental constants' business always show it in the talks. But I wonder whether it was a joke or not...

Phys. Rev. Lett. half a century ago

Imagine, that you publish an article in Physical Review, then find a mistake and a misprint in it, and decide to submit the correction to Physical Review Letters. Sounds crazy?

This was somehow possible fifty years ago:

(by that time Phys. Rev. Lett. was a section of Phys. Rev.)

But anyway, later there was another, real erratum to this letter to the editor...

Take care,


25 May, 2010

How would you know?

Here is a quote from the popular article of Nissan Zeldes "Giulio Racah and theoretical physics in Jerusalem":

"Tensor algebra is the natural mathematical tool for treating angular correlations of successive nuclear radiations, as shown first in [Racah, Rhys. Rev. 84, 910 (1951)] and independently in [Lloyd, Phys. Rev. 85, 904 (1952)]".

Well, that sounds fine. Two scientists were involved in the same kind of business and came up with similar theories about the same time - we see that everywhere in science.

The only problem is that in 1951-52 both Giulio Racah and Stuart Lloyd were working at the same place, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Can one really be sure that the theories were developed independently in such a case?

24 May, 2010

Stravinsky in jail

In 1940 Igor Sravinsky was arrested in Boston for playing his arrangement of the American National Anthem, which was considered a 'national property' by Massachusetts law (it was forbidden to tamper with any national property). He was released the same day after convincing authorities of his good intentions.

via undernews

10 May, 2010

Nice quote from the past

"Every attempt to employ mathematical methods in the study of chemical questions must be considered profoundly irrational and contrary to the spirit of chemistry... if mathematical analysis should ever hold a prominent place in chemistry – an aberration which is happily almost impossible – it would occasion a rapid and widespread degeneration of that science."

Auguste Comte, Cours de philosophie positive, 1830