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L'histoire se répète?

  1. Jun 15, 2005 #1

    Hans de Vries

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    Amusing,

    Probably the right place here to post this ... :wink:

    A quote from Freeman Dyson about a conversation with Wolfgang Pauli:

    "I have a clear memory of Pauli saying to me, "If I had not wasted so
    much time trying to make sense of five-dimensional relativity (the Kaluza-
    Klein theory and similar attempts), I might have discovered quantum
    mechanics myself." I believe he said that when he was in Princeton in 1954."


    http://www.physicstoday.org/pt/vol-54/iss-8/p11.html

    In light of the current heated String Theory discussions. Saying that, I
    have my copy as well of "Modern Kaluza-Klein Theories" from Appelquist
    and al. which has all the original papers going back to 1921, until some
    of the first String Theory papers. I bought this way back in 1987, never
    managed then to get far in it though. (and I only came back to Physics
    recently)


    Regards, Hans
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2005
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  3. Jun 15, 2005 #2

    marcus

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    What a coincidence, something quite similar happened to me! Edward Witten and I were sharing a pizza in 2010 not long after Freidel and Loll discovered Z mechanics, and I have a clear memory of him saying "If I had not wasted so much time trying to make sense of those extra dimensions, I might have discovered Z mechanics myself."
    :wink:
     
  4. Jun 15, 2005 #3

    arivero

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  5. Jun 16, 2005 #4

    Hans de Vries

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    Next to Dysons letter you'll also find a letter from Luis J. Boya, to which you
    must be well familliar, :smile:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-th/pdf/9411/9411081.pdf

    Renormalization in 1-D Quantum Mechanics: contact interactions
    from Luis J BOYA, Alejandro RIVERO †


    A while ago I read Luis's paper on how it took Niels Bohr's over a decade to
    accept Einstein's photon which he had vehemently rejected until he finally
    came up with the complementarity principle.
    Historically very interesting!

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0212/0212090.pdf


    Regards, Hans.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2005
  6. Jun 16, 2005 #5

    arivero

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    Yep Hans, my old Advisor takes very seriously the record of history!

    Curiously we are complementary in this field: he concentrates in the XXth century, I take excursions on Newton and Democritus. We have a series of sparse papers that someday could do an, imho, entertaining book. (As for the arguments about Pauli correspondence with Heisenberg, am not sure if we had available -now we have them- the complete correspondence at the time of the physicstoday discussion. Still, the argument of Schucking and von Meyenn from these letters is a bit extreme)

    On the modern side, LJ has been always very fond of strings, and I like to remember a remark time ago in a divulgative lecture, arguing that the whole deductive process of strings was so perfect that "if it fails, we would go back before Newton".

    In some sense, LQG is before Newton. (not the only one, also non commutative calculus is "before Newton", according Majid)
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2005
  7. Jun 16, 2005 #6

    marcus

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    What about Loll-type dynamical triangulations? Also before Newton?
     
  8. Jun 16, 2005 #7

    arivero

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    Hmm could be. Sort of "dynamical differential triangle"?
     
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