Why Quark Rhymes with Pork: And Other Scientific Diversions

Why Quark Rhymes with Pork: And Other Scientific Diversions

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N. David Mermin
Cambridge University Press
Edition: Illustrated, 1/13/2016
EAN 9781107024304, ISBN10: 1107024307

Hardcover, 370 pages, 22.4 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
Language: English

A collection of offbeat, entertaining and primarily nontechnical essays on physics and those who practice it, from eminent theoretical physicist N. David Mermin. Bringing together for the first time all thirty of his columns published in Physics Today's Reference Frame series from 1988 to 2009, with updating commentary, this humorous and unusual volume includes thirteen other essays, many of them previously unpublished. Mermin's lively and penetrating writing illuminates a broad range of topics, from the implications of bad spelling in a major science journal, to the crises of science libraries and scientific periodicals, the folly of scientific prizes and honors, the agony of getting funding, and how to pronounce 'quark'. His witty observations and insightful anecdotes gleaned from a lifetime in science will entertain physicists at all levels, as well as anyone else interested in science or scientists at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Part I. Reference Frame Columns, Physics Today, 1988–2009
1. What's wrong with this Lagrangean? April 1988
2. What's wrong with this library? August 1988
3. What's wrong with these prizes? January 1989
4. What's wrong with this pillow? April 1989
5. What's wrong with this prose? May 1989
6. What's wrong with these equations? October 1989
7. What's wrong with these elements of reality? June 1990
8. What's wrong with these reviews? August 1990
9. What's wrong with those epochs? November 1990
10. Publishing in computopia, May 1991
11. What's wrong with those grants, June 1991
12. What's wrong in computopia, April 1992
13. What's wrong with those talks? November 1992
14. Two lectures on the wave-particle duality, January 1993
15. A quarrel we can settle, December 1993
16. What's wrong with this temptation, June 1994
17. What's wrong with this sustaining myth, March 1996
18. The golemization of relativity, April 1996
19. Diary of a Nobel guest, March 1997
20. What's wrong with this reading, October 1997
21. How not to create tigers, August 1999
22. What's wrong with this elegance? March 2000
23. The contemplation of quantum computation, July 2000
24. What's wrong with these questions? February 2001
25. What's wrong with this quantum world? February 2004
26. Could Feynman have said this? May 2004
27. My life with Einstein, December 2005
28. What has quantum mechanics to do with factoring? April 2007
29. Some curious facts about quantum factoring, October 2007
30. What's bad about this habit, May 2009
Part II. Shedding Bad Habits
31. Fixing the shifty split, Physics Today, July 2012
32. What I think about Now, Physics Today, March 2014
33. Why QBism is not the Copenhagen interpretation, lecture, Vienna, June 2014
Part III. More from Professor Mozart
34. What's wrong with this book? Unpublished, 1992
35. What's wrong with these stanzas? Physics Today, July 2007
Part IV. More to be said
36. The complete diary of a Nobel guest, unpublished, 1996
37. Elegance in physics, unpublished lecture, Minneapolis, 1999
38. Questions for 2105, unpublished lecture, Zurich, 2005
Part V. Some People I've Known
39. My life with Fisher, lecture, Rutgers University, 2001
40. My life with Kohn, 2003, updated 2013
41. My life with Wilson, lecture, Cornell University, 2014
42. My life with Peierls, unpublished lecture, Santa Barbara, 1997
Part VI. Summing It Up
43. Writing physics, lecture, Cornell University, 1999.