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Holy Blood, Holy Grail: Lee Smolin

  1. Jan 11, 2005 #1

    arivero

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    Lee Smolin's advisor was
    Sydney Coleman, whose advisor was
    Murray Gell-Mann, whose advisor was
    Victor Friedrich Weisskopf, whose advisor was
    Max Born, whose advisor was
    Carl Runge, whose advisors were
    two, Karl Weierstrass (waw Gudermann, waw Gauss)
    & Ernst Kummer, whose advisor was
    Heinrich Scherk, whose advisors were
    two, Heinrich Brandes (waw Lichtenberg (waw Kaestner) & Kaestner)
    & Friedrich Bessel, whose advisor was
    Carl Gauss, whose advisor was
    Johann Pfaff, whose advisor was
    Abraham Kaestner, whose advisor was
    Christian Hausen, whose advisor was
    Johann Wichmannshausen, whose advisor was
    Otto Mencke, whose thesis was
    Thomae Hobbesii Epicureismum historice delineatum sistit, around 1668.



    (Well, The lineage of Mencke covers 27991 descendants, about one third of the total of the mathematics genealogy project)
     
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  3. Jan 11, 2005 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    My heavens! That gives me a true feeling for the weight of history! Now what is Smolin's Erdos number? I'll bet it's a low one.
     
  4. Jan 11, 2005 #3

    marcus

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    and all this time I thought he was just this scrappy kid from Brooklyn
     
  5. Jan 11, 2005 #4

    arivero

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    Three, via Theodore A. Jacobson and Mark Kac, according mathematical reviews.

    In any case the real weight of history falls upon Sommerfeld descendants, because Sommerfeld comes from Felix Klein, then descending both from Mencke and Leibnitz.

    See http://www.physcomments.org/wiki/index.php?title=Genealogy::nobel

    But who was Otto Mencke? He was a slightly older colleague of Leibnitz, born in 1644 according Google, and both were the founders of the first scientific journal in Germany.

    It is very funny that his thesis were about Epicureism, because as we know Epicurus was an advocate of atomism.
     
  6. Jan 11, 2005 #5

    arivero

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    But well, note the title of the thread... we need a DaVinci plot here around. Lets check out protagonists:

    Otto Mencke was born 22 Mars 1644 in Oldenburg. After gimnasium at Bremen, he got Baccalaurat in 1662 and Magister in 1664, both at Leipzig. In 1680 he travels to Holland and England, meeting J. Wallis. Most websources tell that he read in 1668 the above thesis -surely for professorship appointment?- but a single webpage gives, with a question mark, another work for Mencke, 1666: Micropolitiam id est rempublicam in microcosmo conspicuam sistit

    For sake of comparison, Leibniz was born 21 July 1646, got baccalaureat in 1663 (title also in atomic theory: disputatio metaphysica de principio individui), magister in 1664, did phi.l habilitation with some math disertations around 1666, and finally got Doctor degree in 1667 -with a thesis in jurisprudence-.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  7. Jan 11, 2005 #6

    arivero

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    Ok, now:

    So our friend Mencke was 15 years old when a strange, cultivated, paranoid vagabond, who hath undertake to doe something upon Archimedes which shall awaken all the world, and has barely escaped from being burn in his ship (accidental or not?), crosses Germany.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2005 #7

    arivero

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    Er, sure Marcus? Smolin's B.A was at Hampshire College. Perhaps you are thinking on the people from Bronx High School (Cooper, Schwartz, Glashow, Weinbergm Hulse and... yep, Politzer).
     
  9. Jan 11, 2005 #8

    marcus

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    I am not thinking about highschool. I know people from Bronx High, it's great. I am thinking about a scrappy gradeschool kid from Brooklyn who hasnt even thought about highschool. It's just my feeling of where Smolin comes from, it is not a biographical FACT. you can ignore it. Brooklyn is more of a symbol than a place. the kid plays "stickball" in the street. that is sidewalk baseball with a broomstick and a tennis ball
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  10. Jan 11, 2005 #9

    arivero

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    a scrappy gradeschool kid from Brooklyn... indeed a good image, Marcus.
     
  11. Jan 11, 2005 #10

    marcus

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    thanks!
    well, I dont know him so i dont know if he has that in him.

    I like a lot of your historical imagery too.
    It is too bad that Salman Rushdie doesnt know anything about
    the quest for knowledge of Gravity
    it would make a good novel, compressing time from 1640, say, up to....
    well compressing about 4 centuries.
    Actually I have never read much Rushdie.
    I like Hundred years of solitude by Marquez. It is about Obsession and the intellectual comedy. Old Jose Arcadio trying to take a photograph of God by having the camera go off (with flashpowder) at random moments when Jose Arcadio himself is not in the room (but maybe God is)
    What one quickly realizes is that despite all the exciting advances there is no progress.

    and the two of us, or at least I may speak for myself, actually believe there is progress? Yes I certainly do. But still one could write about 400 years of obsession with the same people investigating at all times and it could be funny. and maybe true.

    you are actually thinking of Barrow traveling thru German at the time of Leibniz and that ancestor: Otto Somebody? Space is relentlessly evasive and one is always too late to witness the passage of time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  12. Jan 11, 2005 #11

    selfAdjoint

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    Well Neil Stephenson has his trilogy about Hook, Newton and Liebniz (Qicksilver, Confusion, and The System of the World).

    Doesn't Mencke have a comet named after him?
     
  13. Jan 11, 2005 #12

    Janitor

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    Whose granddaughter is Olivia Newton-John.

    :approve:
     
  14. Jan 12, 2005 #13

    arivero

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    Well, the fact of the travel in 1559 is confirmed in the bibliographies. After his ship was burnt in Venice, he become paranoid and then preferred to go back by land via Germany and Holand. Risky biographers even suggest he was afraid of being involved in a papist vs. luteran conjure. So if I am not actually thinking of it, at least I have read about it :-)

    As for Mencke commet, I can not tell...

    Mencke's way to fame was as the first editor of a scientific journal in Germany, the one where Leibnitz articles were published.
     
  15. Jan 12, 2005 #14

    arivero

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    I read Quicksilver, and I was dissapointed enough to not to buy the next chapters. I expect for a professional book writer to show a imagination better than mine (Marcus example, Cien años de soledad, scores a lot in this way). But at the same time I read Quicksilver, I was also reading some studied on alchemy and some sparce notes on Newton age, and I felt that Neil was not working enough hard from the material he had.
     
  16. Jan 12, 2005 #15
    Hehe, funny thing this scientific family tree.
    One of my professors (and potential thesis-adviser) did his thesis with someone who had De Broglie as adviser. Talk about lineage! :tongue2:
     
  17. Jan 12, 2005 #16

    marcus

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    that's nice for you, Dimitri

    My dates for Isaac Barrow are 1630-1677
    Your date for the travel probably means 1659
     
  18. Jan 12, 2005 #17

    arivero

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    Indeed 1659 yes
     
  19. Jan 12, 2005 #18

    arivero

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    Dimitri, please invite yourself -and/or your teacher- to my wiki page
    http://www.physcomments.org/wiki/index.php?title=Genealogy::nobel
    if he has good gossip about de Broglie scientific tree. It is not easy, because he was a man of humanities.

    Actually, it seems that nobel prizes (and discoveries!) accumulate in these sci families so it is perhaps a good idea to choose advisors between them. Said that, let me to stress that De Broglie branch is a rebelious one.

    EDITED: surprise! Vive la France: http://tel.ccsd.cnrs.fr/documents/archives0/00/00/68/07/
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2005
  20. Jan 12, 2005 #19

    marcus

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    Whoa! I see Martin Bojowald is there!

    In the line Sommerfeld/Heisenberg/Kastrup/Bojowald

    that is a nice tree, Alejandro.

    I like Sommerfeld especially because he found the fine structure constant 1/137.036..
    to find such a distinguished pure dimensionless number in nature is no small thing.


    I would like to see a book which chronicles the gradual discovery by humans of the basic proportions in nature (like the speed of light and 1/137)

    what a surprise to find Bojowald there. He is only 31 this year. who knows?
     
  21. Jan 12, 2005 #20

    selfAdjoint

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    [quoter=Marcus]what a surprise to find Bojowald there. He is only 31 this year. who knows? [/quote]

    What does his age have to do with it? We know he got his Ph.D. because we read his thesis. So if his advisor descends from Encke then so does Martin. Gaudeamus igitur!
     
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