Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Consistently Inconsistent

Why do physicists do this*? Don't use 'm' to index energy states and to denote mass or use 'e' for the charge of an electron and the exponential constant in the same blasted equation! Scientists are supposed to question conventions, not perpetuate senseless traditions**! You're allowed to define your variables! Why not use μ for mass or q for charge? Those are pretty standard. Or why not just make up a symbol? ħ anyone? Pisses me off...

*This rant brought to you by footnote 4, on page 147 of Griffith's Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (2ed).
** Apparently Feynman made his own mathematical notation when he was younger but gave it up when he realized it made it impossible for him to communicate what he was doing.

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