Thursday, November 26, 2009

Quotations and (my) Random Thoughts

I thought of writing up a short fiction story along the lines of Futures’ stories in Nature. But, Damn… it’s hard just to come up with something, forget about it being Good! So I thought I’ll take up an abandoned project by PJ: to ‘publish’ quotes of Prof. Peter van Nieuwenhuizen from his QFT, SUSYGY & String classes. These are quotes as they were copied in my notebook during these classes or later from memory. They may not always be accurate word-by-word but within their context, they capture the relevant sentiment exactly (as is commonly said in certain circles: भावनाओं Bhavanaon को ko समझो samjho! [Translation: Understand the feelings!]). I am feeling too lazy to give the context for all these quotations so if some quote seems to have conflicting meanings, take the less ‘controversial’ one to be true! Here we go…

=>It is well-known to those who know it well.

=>It is not well-known that it is well-known.

=>It is known that there are no bound states but how it’s known is not known!

=>If you have a differential equation, you try to solve it!

=>So, Is the world based on Solitons? Mine Is!

=>It gets so deep that I no longer understand it. Though, I’ve also written a paper about it; on good days, I understand it and on bad days, I give it as a homework!

=>[Early stages in N=2 SYM monopoles’ calculations:]

1. General wisdom is wrong. (My paper first in this field!)

2. Cheat to prove M=Z but at least it’s Inventive Cheating!

3. Say I give up: These are honest people but you cannot write papers with that!

=>Ask two proponents of opposing camps and you go to get a cup of coffee. (The relations are not that good afterwards!)

=>There is a way you can write 16: 4x4. It’s not difficult, it’s just a lot of writing!

=>In higher (11) dimensions the gamma matrices are not 4-by-4 but more-by-more!

=>Witten theorem: Total derivatives on fermions do not contribute.

=>Shakespeare theorem: What’s is a name?

=>Professors: More learned they are, more theorems they know, less true they are!

=>Very few people are  in this area. Hope it remains that way!

=>If Higgs is not found, Nature is not so nice!

=>[] He refuses to look at this problem. This is one way to solve problems.

=>Nobody doubts now that we live in 10-D!

=>Anomalies in rigid symmetry: Field theory is all right but physics is bad!

=>Something changes in your life after you do a 2-loop calculation.

=>Anomaly times Anomaly is very anomalous but it is still there!

=>It is a good exercise to see how difficult it is!

=>A good theorist is always flexible. Gell-Mann is very good! [Quarks -> No Quarks -> Yes Quarks]

=>Best if you understand both & worst if you understand neither.

=>Wess & Zumino: 1 paper for 10 topics; Ordinary Physicists: 10 papers for 1 topic!

=>Kaluza was a mathematician (a theorist). How do you prove that? He did not know how to swim. So he bought a book which 'taught' swimming. After reading that book, he could swim!

=>8-D: When you are confused what to do with your life!

=>I’m on a different Riemann sheet. I’ll come back now.

=>Ha…i excels in no examples but only general theory; My notes excel in no general theory but only examples; If you take intersection, you are lost!

=>Wrong paper by me led BV to the right stuff!

=>If I stress everything, it’s stressful.

=>Deeper than deep; Maybe deeper even for nature!

=>0 (Zero) is always deep. There’s a reason behind it.

=>Either you are very famous or you made an error (or both)!

=>Stay away from K_n(x).

=>You can make it so complex that it looks profound! (longer & clearer)

=>Definition rules out the question!

These are almost all of the quotes of PvN I have recorded till now. The remaining ones are quite ‘controversial’ and he has explicitly tagged them with ‘these should not leave this classroom’! So that’s all for now. Wait, it seems the word count has not yet reached a respectable number. So now, I’d like to write my own random thoughts (lets refrain from calling these quotes!) since it’s my blog post to begin with and to end with, I write one (and only one) post in one month! Also, where else would you get to know my thoughts (random or not) unless you subscribe to ‘The Dharman Show’! Here we go again…

A) Definitions (There was such an exercise in English Grammar course in class IX!):

=>Illusions: Something that is and isn’t!

=>Misconceptions: Something that does but doesn’t work!

=>Misunderstandings: Something that is and isn’t right!

=>Overheard: When you are there!

=>Misheard: When you are but not there!

=>Unheard: When you are not quite there yet!

=>Sketchbook: What Sora holds!

=>Condescension: When ascent descends!

=>Death: Which scares less than waiting for someone!

B) Status Messages (These are inspired by some half/dim-witted status messages by one of my literally ‘love-struck’ brother!):

=>How can one be so dumb that one’s classification as a living being comes under scrutiny (forget about being a human being)?

[My bro wait here, Others may continue past the right bracket below: This may seem like a literal attack on You(r sense & sensibility) but I assure You, it is not!]

=>Why should one be afraid of one’s own maturity?

[To my Bro again, Others may continue past the right bracket below: This may seem like a literal attack on You(r sense of maturity) but I assure You, It Is!]

=>It takes courage to be a coward!

[Bro wait again, Others may continue past the right bracket below: This may seem like a literal attack on You(r sense of courage) but I assure You, IT IS NOT!]

C) Phrases (Whatever…):

=>Google Translator Magic: ‘お っぱい’ gets translated to ‘Your Farewell Dinner’; Remove the space after first character and ‘おっぱい’ translates to ‘Boobs’; Or shift the space behind second character to have ‘おっ ぱい’ translated as ‘Oops Bra’; and you can keep on playing...

=>Variable constants (a,b,c,…), Constant variables (x)!

=>R(ight)=W(rong)+C(orrections). If you are wrong by a large factor, then R=W(1+C/W) –> R=W for all practical purposes!

(Adapted from a talk by Dr. Robert Panoff)

Since, it has been proved now that it does not matter if you are Right or Wrong, I’ll leave you with some more insightful



  1. read it yesterday itself, commenting now....Hoo Haa!!!

  2. if there was a stand-up comedy show just for physicists PvN wud command a full house!!!atleast every overstressed grad student wud be there!!!

  3. Indeed... Indeed!!! Am also Glad you came back to comment... hehe :)

  4. lovely... lovely
    i was wondering .. what the hell am in doing in physics ..... and then i read your blog

    However this beats it all
    "Very few people are in this area. Hope it remains that way!"

    even i do so too

  5. Thanx SD da!!! Your comment was highly anticipated for this post... Better late than never I guess!!! Also, your choice of the 'beat-it-all' quote is not disputable!!! :)

  6. I would love to see the controversial ones, Pvn Surely is a man with opinions !!!