Aprenda un poco de inglés con… las burbujas de la cerveza Guinness

Fun With Beer And Mathematics

Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com

After a long day of toil and trouble, there’s nothing quite like a cold, refreshing beer. As you take your first pull from the bottle or glass, your worries immediately drift away, and as you set your vessel down, you begin to lose yourself in the effervescence of it all, just as the bubbles slowly and continually rise to the top.

That is, of course, unless you’re drinking a stout, such as the popular Irish drink of choice, Guinness.

Irish mathematicians have put their minds and glasses together to understand why Guinness bubbles sink and in the end—and several beers later—they have concluded it most likely comes down to the shape of the vessel.

By running the peculiarity of this liquid dynamic behavior through a simulator, an upward flow can be seen running up from the center of the glass as a downward flow carries the bubbles down to the bottom. Continuar leyendo “Aprenda un poco de inglés con… las burbujas de la cerveza Guinness”

Aprenda un poco de inglés con… Eric Lander

Hizo su tesis doctoral en matemáticas puras, en una rama tan “esotérica” y especializada que incluso si alguien obtiene un gran resultado, éste sólo puede ser valorado por unas docenas de personas en el mundo. Pero él dejó ese mundo y, sin entrenamiento formal, ha entrado en otro: el mundo de la biología molecular, la medicina y la “genómica“.

Pueden ver un vídeo con la entrevista a Eric Lander y el artículo “Power in numbers” (por Gina Kolata) en The New York Times.

Aprenda un poco de inglés con… el grafeno

Graphene: from relativistic quantum theory to future electronics

Could solving the problems of theoretical physics, seemingly distant from reality, influence our daily life? The story of graphene, already being called ‘the wonder material’, suggests the answer is ‘Yes’

by ADAM RYCERZ JAGIELLONIAN (Universidad de Cracovia)

We take it as given that all properties of matter originate from the laws of quantum mechanics. We rarely realize, however, that the true power of the nearly hundred-year-old quantum theory lies not in its ability to explain observed phenomena and properties of existing materials but on its so-called ‘predicting ability’—quantum theory can tell us how a new material will behave when it exists only in the mind of a scientist or on the virtual drawing board of a computer well before the material is created in the laboratory. The quantum theory’s predictive ability, for example, allows it to play the role of genetic engineering in the inanimate world.

Rapid development in the last 25 years in microelectronic devices has been accompanied by landmark changes in the spread of scientific information, preprint databases and open access journals being two examples of what the information revolutions has achieved. Together, the two developments have dramatically decreased the time it takes to turn a mathematical concept into a functional device based on that concept. This article tells the story of graphene, the material which I had an opportunity to work on directly soon after it was discovered in 2005, and also mentions a few other fascinating materials, developed in the last few years, that may soon show their potential.

… seguir leyendo en El País.

Aprenda un poco de ingles con…. una anecdota sobre Hirzebruch

El pasado 27 de mayo falleció Friedrich Hirzebruch.

En el libro ‘Mathematical Apocrypha Redux’, de S. Krantz aparece la siguiente historia:

In Spring of 1996 a conference was held in Berkeley to honor the celebrated geometer S. S. Chern (1911-2004). The event was sponsored in part by Jim Simons (1938- ), a former mathematician who had opened a stock trading house (Renaissance Technologies, home of the famous Medallion Fund) and made a fortune on the market. Simons was there-he had written some famous papers with Chern in the 1960s and knew a number of the participants-and he got up at some point to say a few words. Simons is a bluff and hearty guy, and he had some fun regaling the audience with stories. He fondly recalled the days when he worked with Chern, developing the so-called “Chern-Simons invariants”, and he mentioned particularly what Chern had said when he was told that Simons was quitting mathematics. “Chern said, ‘Well, he’s no Hilbert’.” Simons thought this was really touching. He said, “You know, that’s really flattering. To be compared to Hilbert. He could have said, ‘Well, he’s no Hirzebruch,’ but he decided to crank it up a notch, and I’ve always been pleased about that.” Everyone in the audience found this extremely amusing–except for Hirzebruch (1927- ), who sat in the back and took it all in with a dour expression.