Friday, March 20, 2015

Physicists are bosons; mathematicians are fermions

The first observation is that each mathematician is a special case, and in general mathematicians tend to behave like “fermions” i.e. avoid working in areas which are too trendy whereas physicists behave a lot more like “bosons” which coalesce in large packs and are often “over-selling” their doings, an attitude which mathematicians despise.
Alain Connes, Advice to beginning mathematicians

I learnt this quote today, courtesy of Elena Ostrovskaya, who gave todays Physics Colloquium at UQ.

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