Saturday, December 10, 2011

From every angle

I am enjoying re-reading the book 5 Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner. The 5 minds are Disciplined, Synthetic, Creative, Respectful, and Ethical.

With regard to all of the first three he puts emphasis on the importance of considering the same topic from several angles and perspectives. In particular, creative needs to occur within a context of mastering earlier work.

I wonder how might this does and might happen in condensed matter theory?

Phenomenological vs. microscopic.
Strong coupling vs. weak coupling treatments.
Numerical vs. variational wave functions vs. field theories vs. renormalisation group.
A "chemical" approach concerned with specific details vs. a "physics" approach which neglects many details.

Other ideas?

I actually wonder whether we actually do this more often and better than some disciplines.   But that perception may be based on ignorance and hubris!

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