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.