Fact and Fiction

Thoughts about a funny old world, and what is real, and what is not. Comments are welcome, but please keep them on topic.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The beauty of branes

This month Scientific American has an article on The Beauty of Branes, which describes what Lisa Randall has been doing on the theoretical physics of higher dimensions, and all that sort of thing.

What I find amazing is what is written on her blackboard in the photo that accompanies the article. Actually, what is more to the point is what is not written on the blackboard. The blackboard is totally clean apart from one fragment of maths, which looks like a bit of standard Dirac algebra when I look at it through my magnifying glass.

This is totally unprecedented for a theoretical physicist!

What right does Lisa Randall have to call herself a card-carrying theoretical physicist if she doesn't even have the appropriate blackboard credentials? At the very least, I would expect to have to solve a complicated inverse problem (of the type that geologists regularly solve) just to deinterleave the various layers of equations that had been deposited on the blackboard over time.

Lisa! Please get a grip!

Update: I just noticed that the photo in the contents section of the print edition of Scientific American shows Lisa Randall standing in front of a blackboard that is suitably encrusted with chalky equations. So that's alright then!


At 19 October 2005 at 05:16, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe she's just really, really good.

At 19 October 2005 at 16:53, Blogger Steve said...

Touché! Yes, I overlooked that possibility.


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