David Mermin

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David Mermin

N. David Mermin (born March 30, 1935, in New Haven, Connecticut, USA) is Horace White Professor of Physics Emeritus at Cornell University

Sourced[edit]

  • Over the past fifty years or so, scientists have allowed the conventions of expression available to them to become entirely too confining.
    • N. David Mermin (1990). Boojums all the way through: communicating science in a prosaic age. Cambridge University Press. p. xi. ISBN 0-521-38880-5. 
  • … coincident with the explosive growth of research, the art of writing science suffered a grave setback, and the stultifying convention descended that the best scientific prose should sound like a non-human author addressing a mechanical reader. … We injure ourselves when we fail to make our discipline as clear and vibrant as we can to students - prospective scientists - and to the public who pay the taxes.
    • N. David Mermin (1990). Boojums all the way through: communicating science in a prosaic age. Cambridge University Press. p. xii. ISBN 0-521-38880-5. 
  • An extrapolation of its present rate of growth reveals that in the not too distant future Physical Review will fill bookshelves at a speed exceeding that of light. This is not forbidden by general relativity since no information is being conveyed.
    • quoting a joke he heard from Rudolf Peierls. N. David Mermin (1990). Boojums all the way through: communicating science in a prosaic age. Cambridge University Press. p. 57. ISBN 0-521-38880-5. 
  • I am awaiting the day when people remember the fact that discovery does not work by deciding what you want and then discovering it.
  • Quantum mechanics is the most useful and powerful theory physicists have ever devised. Yet today, nearly 90 years after its formulation, disagreement about the meaning of the theory is stronger than ever. New interpretations appear every year. None ever disappear. … The message from QBism is this: You needn't feel guilty about never getting nervous about this stuff. You were right not to be bothered. But for the sake of intellectual coherence, you had better reexamine what you wrongly may have thought you understood perfectly well about the nature of probability.

About David Mermin[edit]

  • One of the most beautiful papers in physics that I know of is yours in the American Journal of Physics.
    • Richard P. Feynman in a letter to N. David Mermin, related to his AJP paper Bringing home the atomic world: Quantum mysteries for anybody, American Journal of Physics, Volume 49, Issue 10, pp. 940-943 (1981), as quoted in Michelle Feynman (2005). Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track. Basic Books. p. 367. ISBN 0-7382-0636-9. 

External links[edit]

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