Anatoly Vorobey (avva) wrote,
Anatoly Vorobey

воспоминания шеймоса (англ.)

Воспоминания Майкла Шеймоса, одного из основателей вычислительной геометрии - это наука, которая изучает алгоритмы, работающие с геометрическими фигурами. Забавно, что когда он работал над первой своей задачей в этой области, в 73-м году, то нужный ему теоретический материал почерпнул из английского перевода "Выпуклых фигур" Яглома и Болтянского (замечательная книжка, о которой я узнал лишь недавно, когда ее упомянули здесь в комментариях).

В юности Шеймос собирался быть физиком и одно время был ассистентом у Джона Уилера, которому мы все обязаны термином "черная дыра". Вот цитата об одном происшествии на семинаре Уилера:
I developed the habit of reading scientific journals obsessively, an addiction fueled by the fact that the Math-Physics library was open 24 hours a day. I even skimmed over papers I couldn't begin to understand, just to absorb their notation and remember their results.

This behavior came in handy one day in the Spring of 1968. At the regular meeting of Wheeler's research group, someone posed the question whether the existence of matter necessarily implied the existence of electromagnetic force. It was of course known that matter implies gravitation - that is what general relativity is all about. But could one have a universe entirely of neutrons, for example, devoid of electromagnetism? I immediately answered that electromagnetism must exist in any universe, since Einstein had proven it. The group eyed me suspiciously. They were on intimate terms with Einstein's work; some of them, like Wheeler, had been on intimate terms with Einstein himself. Nobody recalled such a result. I said, "Oh, yes, it appeared in a paper of his in the Revistas Mexicanas de Fisica in the early 50s. I'll be happy to run over to the library and bring back a copy."

Wheeler said they would all be obliged if I would do so. I returned with it about 20 minutes later and the paper was passed around the table. It indeed contained the assertion that electromagnetism must exist. The group was able to spot an error in the paper rather quickly, and they assured me the problem was still unsolved despite Einstein's claim. From this episode I acquired a reputation for having an encyclopedic familiarity with the published literature."
Tags: наука
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