15 July, 2010

Naming kids is hard

Last year chemistry Nobel laureate Dudley Herschbach was giving a plenary talk at the Faraday Discussions conference. After the talk he got a question somehow related to angular momentum algebra and started his answer with

"You know, I love angular momentum. I even blame my parents for not naming me 'Angular momentum'!"

What puzzles me a bit is the whole 'naming kids' business. I can understand that guys far from math don't name children using indeces or primes, although 'Anna-double-prime' or 'John-three' looks and sounds great. But if people stick with the name of the mother/father while naming their dauther/son they should use something of that sort. Vladimir-prime Vladimirovich Putin, for instance.

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