Physicists say the darndest things


In a nod to Tommaso’s periodic “Say of the Week” posts, below are a few memorable quotes that I wanted to share.

“We can say that there is 10-standard-deviation evidence for non-baryonic dark matter… whatever `standard deviation’ means in cosmology.”

— Antonio Masiero, `New Physics & Flavour’ talk at the 2007 Cosener’s Forum for Heavy Flavour Physics

A couple from Part III this year:

“Dimensions change as we change dimensions.”

— H. Osborn, on the units of coupling constants in dimensional regularisation

“Let us generalise this to the case N = 3.”

—  B. Allanach

(It took me a while to realise why my friends were giggling about the last one.)

And one oldie-but-goodie:

String cosmology… [until recently this was] the marriage of a field with no predictions and a field with no data.”

— S. Kachru, c. 2005


4 Responses to “Physicists say the darndest things”

  1. 1 brb

    I don’t get Kachru’s comment- string theory doesn’t have data or predictions.

    And cosmology has had both since at least Friedmann and Hubble in the 1920s…

  2. 2 evankeane

    re: Kachru – was the square bracket put in by you?

    also i love the allanach quote!

    brb: Hubble’s prediction of Hubble’s law was not very solid to say the least! If you look at the data he had the deduction he made was very dodgy. Of course the law IS obeyed and now the data points are tight and cover a MUCH larger range but his conclusion was a bit of a jump. He was also wrong by an order of magnitude on the value of H_0

  3. I should note that Kachru’s comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek.

  4. Hi Flip,

    I love the generalizations to N=3. They usually make a lot of sense, especially if N is the number of spatial dimensions 😉


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