Embiggened anti-D3 branes…


My former undergraduate roommate (something uncommon in the UK) recently pointed out some subtle humour in a string theory paper. JHEP 0701 (2007) 083 (Gauge/gravity duality and meta-stable dynamical supersymmetry breaking, by Argurio, Bertolini, Franco, and Kachru) sneaks in a Simpsons reference:

For large P, the three-form fluxes are dilute, and the gradient of the Myers potential encouraging an anti-D3 to embiggen is very mild. [emphasis mine, original source]

Did you catch that? `Embiggen‘ is a word invented by a writer for The Simpsons. As one might expect, it means “to make bigger.” For some context:

“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” — Jebediah Springfield, The Simpsons (season 7, episode16)

For a bit more context, here’s a YouTube video with some highlights:

Anyway, the reference is a nice inclusion. One wonders if one of the authors was put up to this, akin to the now-famous story of the name `penguin diagram.’ I’m not a betting man, but I have my suspicions about which of the authors is a Simpsons fan. 🙂


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