Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Real world? 

I have a weird sense of humour. I came across this joke, as you do, whilst googling for something almost-but-not-quite completely different, and found it laugh-out-loud funny:

A Physics professor has been doing an experiment, and has worked out an emphirical equation that seems to explain his data. He asks the math professor to look at it.

A week later, the math professor says the equation is invalid. By then, the physics professor has used his equation to predict the results of further experiments, and he is getting excellent results, so he asks the math professor to look again.

Another week goes by, and they meet once more. The math professor tells the physics professor the equation does work, "But only in the trivial case where the numbers are real and positive."

I can't think of a more succinct explanation of the difference between maths and physics (the joke may have come from an American site, but I'm British, can you tell?) Trouble is, only mathematicians and physicists would get it. Oh well... Like I said, I have a weird sense of humour. Normal service (or what passes for it) will be resumed as soon as possible...

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