January 14, 2006

a spoonful weighs a ton

as previously mentioned, i am always on the lookout for trite physics allusions in places that they don't belong. particularly the ones that physicists themselves take notice of (often to the point of overuse, see "fire and ice"). here are a few more i've stumbled across recently. in terms of irrelevant or meaningless quotation, no one has been more abused than shakespeare. so it was nice to find this surprisingly apt (and vaguely self-referential) winter's tale passage in the opening of ryder's quantum field theory:

yet nature is made better by no mean
but nature makes that mean: so, over that art
which you say adds to nature, is an art
that nature makes
what a feynmanesque thing for shakespeare to come up with! better yet, listening to the flaming lips' soft bulletin yesterday i noticed that the lyrics seem to contain some kind of ode to the fusion reactions in the stellar core:
and though they were sad
they rescued everyone
they lifted up the sun
a spoonful weighs a ton
giving more than they had
the process had begun
a million came from one
i cannot say for sure whether they are singing about high energy photons, the nuclei, or the reactions themselves, but i know that i definitely prefer these to those irrelevant, out-of-context quotes from alice in wonderland that everyone seems so fond of. not to mention this abomination.