Banner
    Minimalist Biographies Of Scientists - Add Your Own!
    By Tommaso Dorigo | April 22nd 2010 10:06 AM | 29 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Tommaso

    I am an experimental particle physicist working with the CMS experiment at CERN. In my spare time I play chess, abuse the piano, and aim my dobson...

    View Tommaso's Profile
    My friend Peppe Liberti, a physicist and blogger from southern Italy, sent me today a amusing list of essential biographies of scientists. I wish to share them with you here, after I explain what this is about.

    The rules of the game are quite simple: find an amusing way to summarize as succintly as possible (usually not exceeding two lines of text) the life and works of a well-known scientist.

    Here is Peppe's bid: five really good ones.



    • Ludwig Boltzmann was one that sought an equilibrium. He died in an irreversible manner.


    • Georg Cantor tried to order the infinities. Ended in a closed set.



    • Majorana did not have time to publish his work on the exchange forces. Rejected mail for recipient's death.



    • Alan Turing was looking for the relationship between machines and nature. He did not feel complete and so killed himself.



    • Nikolay Nikolaevich Bogolyubov tried the canonical transformations: was the son of a priest.



    And here is my own single attempt (might add a few more if I get in the right mood):


    • Richard Feynman made seminal contributions to subatomic physics. His most useful discovery was that condoms should not be kept in the refrigerator.



    You can find some other attempts (in Italian) in a couple of Peppe's recent posts. And of course, if you come up with a good one -or even if you only manage a so-so one- please add it in the thread below... Have fun, and share the fun!

    PS a friend made me realize that my own biography of Feynman is kind of cryptic. I am alluding at the O-rings investigation and the Discovery incident.

    Comments

    "Kurt Godel was a most prominent logician. He extended his theorem from mathematical to physical systems, by dying of nutritional incompleteness when he chose to stay consistent to his paranoidal axioms", or something like that...

    Satyendra Nath Bose's life can be easily condensed.

    Ha, this is the best answer by default! (especially when combined with Leon Cooper's life :s)

    dorigo
    Popinga, that's quite good!
    Cheers,
    T.
    Ramanujan was a number-theoretical prodigy. Before his discovery by Hardy, his identity was unknown. Unfortunately he died in his prime.

    1) There is no need to expand on the life of Edwin P. Hubble.

    2) One of the greatest achievements of George Ellery Hale can be split into several distinct parts.

    3) The work of James Hutton is rock-solid.

    4) Major John Wesley Powell was a grand scientist.
    logicman
    1) There is no need to expand on the life of Edwin P. Hubble.
    Thumbsups manyfold in the scoreloads !  :-)
    Very good the one on Hubble.

    Thanks, Popinga. I like your one on Satyendra Nath Bose.
    "* Nikolay Nikolaevich Bogolyubov tried the canonical transformations: was the son of a priest."

    It's even more funny because "Bogolyubov" literally means "loving the god" in Russian.

    logicman
    Alfred Binet - invented intelligence test: has scored zero since 1911.

    Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky - discovered new geometry foundations: fell in.
    Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky - discovered new geometry foundations: fell in.


    That's what happens when you go non-Euclidean! ;-)
    Nicolas Sadi Carnot reflected on the power of fire. When he died of cholera, his writings were buried together with him, closing his Cycle.

    In his late life Isaac Newton became warden of the Royal Mint. He was able to detect bad coins by small irregularities in their motion.

    Albert Einstein is the classical genius.
    Peter Higgs et al. massively influenced the standard model.
    Peter Woit sees a great void in string theory.

    logicman
    Herman Hollerith punched cards, 1889.  Punched out, 1929
    Statisticians evidently know when it's a good time to punch out, Patrick! ;-)
    Yet they missed him so much on November 7, 2000 in Florida. ;)

    LOL Popinga! ;-)
    Becky Jungbauer
    Ha ha ha! Love it.
    Giordano Bruno denied geocentricity, therefore he was killed by egocentric geocentrists.

    Marie Curie didn’t know the risks of her work, so leukaemia killed the radium star.

    #The only super-man already discovered is Schwarz, superpartner of Chwarz.
    #E. Schrodinger's life collapsed after its measurement in 1961.
    #Fermi never occupied the same office with one his family members.
    #J. Ellis is still waiting for his first love at the meeting point, her name is Susy..
    ..
    etc :D

    dorigo
    Good ones Muhamad! And I thank everybody for their contributions.

    Cheers,
    T.
    dorigo
    Ah, but this brings the challenge to a new level! Self-defining declarations ?
    Cheers,
    T.
    logicman
    I DO NOT FIND ANY OF THIS AMUSING. AT ALL. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF
    YOURSELVES FOR MAKING COMMENTS LIKE THESE ABOUT BRILLIANT
    MATHEMATICIANS LIKE MYSELF.

    Sincerely,

    Nick

    You're so vain.  I bet you think this song is about you, don't you?

    dorigo
    But... ROOOOOOTFL! :D :D :D :D I am still laughing now!

    Brilliant find Patrick! I owe you a beer!!!
    Cheers,
    T.
    I have to second that, Tommaso!

    Where in the world did you find this video, Patrick? I love it! This one I have to save to my YouTube account.

    Hell! For this video I will buy you all of the beers you can drink! ;-)
    logicman
    I'm glad you guys enjoyed the song.

    Tom Lehrer, brilliant mathematician, satirist and all round very funny guy is a retired academic.

    He would take a math theme and make up a song to suit.

    His song (almost) about combinatorics - I got it from Agnes - raised a few eyebrows.

    His most famous song - based apparently on the properties of lists - is the elements.

    Most of his songs are on YouTube.