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Old 08-03-2019, 04:22 PM
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Coincidentally aptly named scientific phenomena, laws or equations


I'm watching a program about black holes, and the the Schwarzschild radius came up. I had heard about it, but never was clear if it was named after a person, so I looked it up, and indeed it's named after the physicist Karl Schwarzschild. Now "Schwarzschild" in German means "black shield", so it's a fitting name for the phenomenon it describes. Are there other examples of such a coincidence?
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Old 08-03-2019, 05:34 PM
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Moore's Law is the best I can come up with.

But it would have been great if a 5-year-old Emmy Noether had assisted Mitchelson & Morley.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:48 PM
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But it would have been great if a 5-year-old Emmy Noether had assisted Mitchelson & Morley.
I don't get it. Could you elaborate?
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:57 PM
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I elaborated about that about a week ago and had already forgotten this thread, but 5 minutes after posting above I got it: no ether.
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Last edited by EinsteinsHund; 08-10-2019 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:16 PM
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Hotelling's Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotelling%27s_law ) among other things explains why hotels are likely to cluster in one area.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:38 PM
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The best I can come up with is something called the Killing form (named after Wilhelm Killing) that vanishes (dies) on a nilpotent Lie algebra. And, BTW, Lie algebras have nothing to do with lying (as Sen. Wm. Proxmire thought) but named after Sophus Lie (pronounced like Lee).
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
And, BTW, Lie algebras have nothing to do with lying (as Sen. Wm. Proxmire thought) but named after Sophus Lie (pronounced like Lee).
Only remotely on-topic here but:

Why didn't Lie characterize commutative groups?

-- Because he wasn't Abel.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:06 PM
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The Poynting vector (after John Henry Poynting) points in the direction of propagation of an electromagnetic wave.

When I first learned of the Auger effect, I thought its name had something to do with the idea of an electron drilling down to a lower shell, like an auger drilling through wood. Turns out it's named for a guy called Pierre Victor Auger.

Probably not what you had in mind, but the Child Ballads are so called because they were collected by Francis James Child. For years I thought they were called that because they were for children. After all, they do contain many of the same motifs as fairy tales.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
The best I can come up with is something called the Killing form (named after Wilhelm Killing) that vanishes (dies) on a nilpotent Lie algebra. And, BTW, Lie algebras have nothing to do with lying (as Sen. Wm. Proxmire thought) but named after Sophus Lie (pronounced like Lee).
Did Proxmire really think Lie algebras were about lying?
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:28 PM
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The Poynting Vector points in the direction of energy travel in electromagnetic radiation. It was discovered by John Henry Poynting.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:34 PM
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Hotelling's Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotelling%27s_law ) among other things explains why hotels are likely to cluster in one area.
This is cool. I've always noticed the effect but never knew it had a name. And talk about what seems to be nominative determinism.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:43 PM
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Does Alzheimer's Disease count? Sometimes people seem to think it's called "Old Timer's Disease".
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:04 PM
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A quick glance at a list of laws named after people reveals Heap's Law which says that as a corpus of text grows there will be a diminishing return of new distinct words (the corpus could be poetically called a "heap" of words.)
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Old 08-11-2019, 08:17 PM
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Only remotely on-topic here but:

Why didn't Lie characterize commutative groups?
-- Because he wasn't Abel.
A joke that only works when written as Lie is pronounced Lee and Abel pronounced AH bel
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:46 AM
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SADS: Seasonal Affective Disorder Syndrome. AKA getting depressed in winter.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:42 AM
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"Poynting Vector" was what I first thought of, too. Lots of TAs and Professors made jokes about it.


Not really what you're looking for, but in 1948 George Gamow's had his name on his student Ralph Alpher's paper on Physical Cosmology, and persuaded physicist Hans Bethe (who had nothing to do with the work) to add his name to the paper so that it could be the "Alpher, Bethe, Gamow" paper (suggesting Alpha Beta, Gamma):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpher...%93Gamow_paper

Not coincidental at all. And not related to greek letters, either.


When Wayne Knox was a new professort in Rochester, he persuaded his father Bob Knox (also a professor at Rochester) to add his name to a spurious "paper" about creating a "zero femtosecond pulse", along with Richard Zare and a guy who he looked up to find an appropriate match, J.F. Hoose, so that they could publish the

Knox, Knox, Hoose, Zare paper

https://blog.everydayscientist.com/?p=961

https://www.osapublishing.org/opn/ab...uri=opn-1-4-44
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:57 AM
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SADS: Seasonal Affective Disorder Syndrome. AKA getting depressed in winter.
This may not be coincidence - people come up with appropriate acronyms all the time.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:39 AM
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I don't get it. Could you elaborate?
Michaelson and Morley's experiment to measure speed in the ether proved that there is no ether.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:03 AM
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Michaelson and Morley's experiment to measure speed in the ether proved that there is no ether.
Yeah, as mentioned above I got the joke about 5 minutes after asking. I was familiar with the Michaelson Morley experiment, but parsed Emmy Noether's name like the German I am, as Nöther, so I didn't get it first.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:29 PM
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Only remotely on-topic here but:

Why didn't Lie characterize commutative groups?

-- Because he wasn't Abel.
Stop, you're Killing me.
  #21  
Old 08-12-2019, 12:31 PM
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Did Proxmire really think Lie algebras were about lying?
Proxmire's main (only) claim to fame was going around ridiculing research grants that sounded (to his limited brain) risible. I can't document this, but I believe he did.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
Proxmire's main (only) claim to fame was going around ridiculing research grants that sounded (to his limited brain) risible. I can't document this, but I believe he did.
It's easy to document Proxmire's ridiculing research. He even created the Golden Fleece Award to do it:

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

Maybe you meant that it was hard to document that he found the research funny. Of course, that was in his head, but I'll bet you can find writings or quotations from him where asserted this.




Larry Niven wrote the short story The Return of William Proxmire in 1989 to poke fun at him:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Re...lliam_Proxmire
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:41 PM
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Maybe you meant that it was hard to document that he found the research funny. Of course, that was in his head, but I'll bet you can find writings or quotations from him where asserted this.
The question is whether Proxmire had the particular misunderstanding about "Lie Algebras" (it's certainly possible that he did, but it sounds a bit too good to be true).
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:52 PM
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I don't know if this belongs in this thread, but I will tell it anyway. There is a mathematics book that gives the usual preventative measures in set theory in order to avoid Russell's paradox (is the set of all sets that are not members of themselves a member of itself?) and then goes on to add "This prophylaxis guarantees safe sets."
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:24 PM
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What do you get when you cross an elephant and a mouse?
Elephant*Mouse*sine(theta).
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:24 AM
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What is the integral of d(cabin)/cabin?

Houseboat (log cabin + C)
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