Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Marni D. Sheppeard

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quote of the Week

In Week 201, which came up recently at the cafe, John Baez said, in relation to Galois theory,
The moral is this: you can't solve a problem if the answer has some symmetry, and your method of solution doesn't let you write down a correct answer that has this symmetry! An old example of this principle is the medieval puzzle called Buridan's Ass. Placed equidistant between two equally good piles of hay, this donkey starves to death because it can't make up its mind which alternative is best.
Good advice for string theorists and particle physicists, perhaps? Also check out some of Baez's cool new links.


Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Very funny! Placed equidistant between 10^500 equally good piless of hay...I hope everything else in Oxford is going well.

April 25, 2009 8:06 AM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

Nice Baez article.

I'm continuing to struggle with the generalized Galois problem of fitting the magic unitary 3x3 matrices into the unitary 3x3 matrices. I'm pretty sure it's going to come down to exponentials and Lie calculations.

April 25, 2009 2:24 PM  

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