I survived three semesters of calculus on my way to a mathematics degree. By the third semester, there were no more story problems, because what you were being taught had no basis on Earth. When I got to linear algebra and the square root of -1 was i, I said “Check, please” and switched to computer science.

I can honestly say that I have not used one bit of my college mathematics background in a real world setting. If you are not working for NASA or building the world’s tallest skyscraper, chances are you will have no practical use for calculus either.

I wish I could have that time back, and taken courses like Home Repair 101, Auto Mechanics, and Personal Finances.

]]>The problem is I last did Calculus back in 1993 for my CS degree, so it’s been a while since I’ve even thought about integrals and the like. I never did have Differential Equations – wasn’t going into Engineering or Physics so I ended up in Linear Algebra which I still loathe.

I really did love Calculus – it was the one bit of math that made sense since I could draw what I was looking for (the area under a curve) somehow that made things so much easier for me. (okay so I’m weird – sue me)

I can almost, but not quite, follow what Carl is saying and damn it makes me want to go learn all of it from the ground up so I can really understand it… too bad I have an old brain and no time. *sigh* If I was young and read that I might have immediately switched my major to Physics just to find out what it’s all about. heh.

]]>All I can say is that:

1968: First evidence discovered for quarks

My last physics class was over by 1972, so this lot passed me by as did Carl’s post.

Thanks for clearing that up, Carl.

[slapping self on the forehead] I can’t believe I didn’t see that right away. Maybe it’s a forest and trees thing.

Jimbo ðŸ˜‰

]]>Hey, Brian, I think I read that paper. Don’t laugh about it, that was your tax dollars at work.

It turns out that for each angular momentum, you get several different mesons all with that same quantum number, but different masses. The Regge theory (which dates to the 1960s and helped start string theory) is about the lowest mass meson for each quantum number and how these compare. They call the math relationship between them (as in y = ax^2 + bx + c), a “trajectory” just to confuse. Maybe it’s because when you fire a gun the bullet follows a parabolic trajectory. In their case, “y” is the mass of the meson, “x” is its angular momentum.

The stuff I’m doing is about the relationship between mesons that have the same quantum numbers. So the two methods are complementary. They do the across theory, I do the up and down theory, to put it in a crossword puzzle metaphor.

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