Who are the Iconic Characters in Physics and Mathematics?

In summary, the conversation is about a person who is writing a novel and is researching the history of science, specifically physics, astrophysics, and mathematics. They are looking for characters from famous problems in these fields to include in their story. They mention Schroedinger's Cat and Maxwell's Demon as examples and ask for suggestions from the community. The conversation also briefly touches on the concept of Bayesian analysis and references to Dennis the Menace and the Feynman Lectures.
  • #1
Krakatit
Dear PF Members!

This is my first post.
I've been reading these boards for some time now and the community as well as the pool of information is great and very inspiring.

I realize this post may have seem better posted in fantasy section, however, I hope the discussion taking place focuses on physics problems.

The reason I registered is, I'd like to ask you all for help. I am an author wiritng a novel and in middle of research on various fronts. One of them is history of sciences, especially physics, astrophysics and mathematics. I am a keen reader of popular literature on the topic (Greene, Hawking, Kaku, etc) but my knowledge only goes so far.

The problem is, I am looking for characters used in explanations of various physical or mathematical problems - think Schroedinger's Cat, Maxwell's Demon or Pearson's traveller through time.
During the course of the story I'm developing, main character builds up a party of companions like the one's mentioned above. I need at least four characters with certain "special" abilities and so far I have only Maxwell's Demon.

It would be a tremendous help and greatly appreciated if you could add anyone you might remember that appeared in some problem described by a physicist or mathematician.

Thank you very much in advance!
 
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  • #2
I don't see why Schroedinger's Cat can't be a companion :smile:
 
  • #3
You only have to feed a cat that's both dead and alive at the same time half as much.
 
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  • #4
Borek said:
I don't see why Schroedinger's Cat can't be a companion :smile:
Actually, it is a companion but not a narrative-creating element. In the story, Max Heiliger owns it as a pet (fictitious person NAZIs used for a bank account to store all the wealth taken from Jews}.
Good point, though.
 
  • #5
SW VandeCarr said:
You only have to feed a cat that's both dead and alive at the same time half as much.

But it won't go outside if there is a 50% chance of rain.
 
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  • #7
Krakatit said:
In the meantime, I found another interesting "character" - Boltzmann Brain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_brain

Bayesian analysis might be more appropriate for the evolution of life (and brains) in the universe. I understand the Boltzmann Brain concept considers the probability of a brain originating randomly from some base (high entropy) state. With a Bayesian approach probabilities are conditional on the previous, possibly lower entropy state. Lower entropy means a higher probabity for a given possible state to occur.

http://authors.library.caltech.edu/59452/2/PhysRevE.94.022102.pdf
 
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Related to Who are the Iconic Characters in Physics and Mathematics?

What are the iconic characters in physics and mathematics?

The iconic characters in physics and mathematics are individuals who have made significant contributions to the fields of physics and mathematics, and whose work has had a lasting impact on our understanding of the world.

Who are some of the most well-known iconic characters in physics?

Some of the most well-known iconic characters in physics include Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking. These individuals are recognized for their groundbreaking theories and discoveries in the fields of mechanics, relativity, and cosmology.

What are the contributions of these iconic characters in physics and mathematics?

Isaac Newton is famous for his laws of motion and universal gravitation, which laid the foundation for classical mechanics. Albert Einstein is known for his theory of relativity, which revolutionized our understanding of space and time. Stephen Hawking is recognized for his work on black holes and the origins of the universe.

Are there any iconic female characters in physics and mathematics?

Yes, there are many iconic female characters in physics and mathematics, including Marie Curie, Emmy Noether, and Ada Lovelace. These women made significant contributions to their fields, despite facing barriers and discrimination due to their gender.

How do these iconic characters continue to impact the fields of physics and mathematics today?

The work of these iconic characters continues to be studied and built upon by current scientists and mathematicians. Their theories and discoveries have led to further advancements and breakthroughs in these fields, shaping our understanding of the world and pushing the boundaries of human knowledge.

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