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Anyone read "QFT in a Nutshell" by Zee?

  1. Aug 21, 2014 #1
    In Chapter IV.3 of Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell] by A. Zee (2nd Edition), there is a section titled "Wisdom of the son-in-law".

    My question is, WTH does that heading have to do with anything in the text? Is this just a common expression? I don't get it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2014 #2
    Yes... Zee is somewhat unconventional. I don't know what he refers to either. I googled the phrase and found some partial match with the Judgement of Solomon, but I can't really see how that is relevant.
  4. Aug 22, 2014 #3


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    Maybe Jona-Lasinio was Schwinger's son in law.
  5. Aug 24, 2014 #4


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    The answer is: "Le gendre" in French means "The son-in-law". Since he is talking about Legendre transformations, he made that joke. I only understood because I speak French.

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  6. Aug 24, 2014 #5


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    Also, it is almost an expression... in Spanish. In this language, "brother-in-law wisdom" refers to the tipical chit-chat conversation in family meetings, such as the ones in Xmas, where usually there is a "brother-in-law", a "cuñado", who pretends to know about everything. Funny coincidence.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  7. Aug 25, 2014 #6


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    Fantastic :')
  8. Aug 25, 2014 #7
    In the UK the "mother-in-law" joke is a standard for comedians, the basic idea being that mother-in-law always thinks son-in-law is an idiot. So I would read "wisdom of the son-in-law" as being ironic.

    Aren't QFT textbooks hard enough without making obscure jokes? I guess it's all part of the weeding out process...
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