“Simple Physics”, by Sempé

Jean-Jacques Sempé does it again, with another great New Yorker cover. This time, his subject is- my people! (click for more detail):

sempe new yorker cover smallPretty interesting to see the choices of equations actually (mostly various quantum mechanics statements – Schrodinger’s equation, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, the definition of the Hamiltonian in question (there seems to be an external electromagnetic field?), then there’s a reminder of what happens in beta-decay of the neutron…and there’s the inevitable Einstein’s E=mc2 thrown in at random… and more…).

It’s great to see all this up there… although it is worth noting that a more typical blackboard would have (instead of definitions/statements known very well to the physicist) much more of a working computation in progress, probably.

Of course, if the physicist knew that he or she was to be on a New Yorker cover, perhaps they would have cleaned things up a bit and stuck a few recognisable things on the board… So maybe this is realistic in that sense… I wonder: Does the artist know this material, or did he have a consultant, or an example or model to work from?


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