Archive for the 'geometry' Category

Physics for poets and poetry for physicists, cont’d

October 3, 2011

I found a copy of my paper last night, a little the worse for (basement flood) wear, and it doesn’t seem to scan properly, but I did find a copy of it.

It’s dated November 21, 1977, and the first paragraph reads,

The physicist and the poet are often used to represent the extremes of human nature, being presumed to differ drastically in their perception, attitude, and interpretation of “the world.”  It is precisely the reason why the scare-quotes are necessary, to qualify “the world” as that which we know through our experience and intellect, that physicist and poet are more correctly paired than contrasted.  For as I will demonstrate in this essay, the two have arrived at relatively the same conception of space and time, or more accurately, of spacetime.

(I would read some significance into the fact that I married a physicist but for the fact that I’m no poet.)

The paper is about eleven and a half doubled-spaced typewritten (on my old manual Brother typewriter) pages, plus bibliography and poem, and includes a couple of equations with Greek letters, so I’m not sure how much of this thing I want to try to put up here.

I’m thinking maybe I should take a look at the papers I wrote for the History of Mathematics class I took (I noticed them in passing as I rifled through the carton in the basement that contained the physics paper), maybe there’s something there that would help me explain how we come to see a line where before we saw a series of discrete points (we focused on Euclid in that class, as I remember).

To be continued.