The last post was very long so this one will be very short. My friend Robert Pincus (cloud physicist and gastronome) recently forwarded this site called Sixty Symbols to me and I think its wonderful. Produced by the University of Nottingham its an innovative attempt to take people through the world of symbols in physics and astronomy.
There are separate video clips for a range of physics' most important symbols. Things like
z: cosmological redshift
h: Planck's constant (quantum physics)
c: the speed of light
and lots of others which occur in fonts I don't have access to.
The symbols of physics carry a kind of compressed meaning which can reach an almost poetic level sometimes. I have always found equations profoundly beautiful because, like poems, there is an economy in which just a few short strokes of the pen embraces entire universes of dynamics, relation and potential. It is interesting to note in this regard that Wolfgang Pauli dreamt in the symbols of physics. In his 30 year long correspondence with Jung he came to believe that these symbols were like archetypes in their own way (the history of physics has yet to absorb this side of Pauli's life). Pauli saw the symbols as almost mythic in their ability to embrace the world. That might be going too far but if you think there is something unusual happening in poetry then one can argue the same characteristics of mind and the world happen in mathematical physics as well.
I hope you enjoy the site. I am slowly working my way through the videos. Some are better than others but the idea is a grand one indeed.
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