Hv by Gilbert Stead

All black body radiations,
All the spectrum variations,
All atomic oscillations
Vary as “h v.”

Ultraviolet vibrations
X- and gamma-ray pulsations
Ordinary light sensations
All obey “h v.”

Chorus:
Here’s the right relation
Governs radiation
Here’s the new
And only true
Electrodynamical equation;

Never mind your d/dt2
V times e or half mv2
If you watch the factor “c2”)
E equals “h v.”

Even matters calorific
Such things as the heat specific
Yield to treatment scientific
If you use “h v.”

In all questions energetic
Whether static or kinetic
Or electric, or magnetic
You must use “h v.”

(Chorus)
There would be a mighty clearance,
We should all be Planck’s adherents
Were it not that interference
Still defies “h v.”

Gilbert Stead (3 February 1888 – 5 July 1979) was a British professor of physics and pioneer in the development of radiology as a recognized medical specialty.

To be sung to the tune “Men of Harlech” (traditional Welsh tune)
With thanks to https://ww3.haverford.edu/physics/songs/cavendish/hv.htm

Brief summary of the physics in this song

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Earth’s Embroidery

With the ink of its showers and rains
With the quill of its lightning, with the
Hand of its clouds, winter wrote a letter
Upon the garden, in purple and blue
No artist could conceive the like of that.
And this is why the earth, grown
Jealous of the sky, embroidered stars in
The folds of the flower beds.

Solomon Ibn Gabirol

Solomon ibn Gabirol was an 11th-century Andalusian poet and Jewish philosopher with a Neo-Platonic bent. He published over a hundred poems, as well as works of biblical exegesis, philosophy, ethics and satire. One source credits Ibn Gabirol with creating a golem, possibly female, for household chores.

Poetry and robots too???

Science poetry from the 1600s

Nature is curious, and such worke may make,
That our dull sense can never finde, but scape.
For Creatures, small as Atomes, may be there,
If every Atome a Creatures Figure beare.
If foure Atomes a World can make, then see
What severall Worlds might in an Eare–ring bee:
For Millions of these Atomes may bee in
The Head of one Small, little, Single Pin.
And if thus Small, then Ladies may well weare
A World of Worlds, as Pendents in each Eare.

Duchess Margaret Lucas Cavendish of Newcastle
(c. 1624 – 1674)
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, was a prolific writer who worked in many genres, including poetry, fiction, drama, letters, biography, science, and even science fiction. Unlike most women of her day, who wrote anonymously, she published her works under her own name.
We refer you to the Poetry Foundation for more information about his fascinating woman:
magaret cavendish

Caroline talks back to the poets

     The poet can sing to a lone bright star,
but we astronomers look at all of them

and the shining nebulosity between.
We sweep to plot a map of every point and blur

of light, and calculate the dance of three
thousand, none quite alike. Poets, attend to

the river of milk braiding and unbraiding its hair,
there is no one love and no one

fate.  We are drops in a luminosity,
a silent roar of hearts opening in the dark.

by Laura Long from The Eye of Caroline Herschel:  A Life in Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2013),

Astro-Gymnastics

Go on a starlit night,
stand on your head,
leave your feet dangling
outwards into space,
and let the starry
firmament you tread
be, for the moment,
your elected base.

Feel Earth’s colossal weight
of ice and granite,
of molten magma,
water, iron, and lead;
and briefly hold
this strangely solid planet
balanced upon
your strangely solid head.

– Piet Hein

Piet Hein is a scientist poet. And one of the great scientists of the 20th century.

 

Miroslav Holub — a reflection on accuracy

In science and mathematics, accuracy is key. In this poem, Mirslav Holub (an immunologist) reflects on accuracy. This poem was translated form the Czech by Ewald Osers.

Brief Reflection on Accuracy
Fish
    always accurately know where to move and when,
    and likewise
    birds have an accurate built-in time sense
    and orientation.
Humanity, however,
    lacking such instincts resorts to scientific
    research. Its nature is illustrated by the following
    occurrence.
A certain soldier
    had to fire a cannon at six o’clock sharp every evening.
    Being a soldier he did so. When his accuracy was
    investigated he explained:
I go by
    the absolutely accurate chronometer in the window
    of the clockmaker down in the city. Every day at seventeen
    forty-five I set my watch by it and
    climb the hill where my cannon stands ready.
    At seventeen fifty-nine precisely I step up to the cannon
    and at eighteen hours sharp I fire.
And it was clear
    that this method of firing was absolutely accurate.
    All that was left was to check that chronometer. So
    the clockmaker down in the city was questioned about
    his instrument’s accuracy.
Oh, said the clockmaker,
    this is one of the most accurate instruments ever. Just imagine,
    for many years now a cannon has been fired at six o’clock sharp.
    And every day I look at this chronometer
    and always it shows exactly six.
Chronometers tick and cannon boom.
Mirslav Holub      

 


	

Postdoc

Truly a poem from the Laboratory, and one many young scientists will empathise with:

grammardog

Stretched thin by anxiety,

here is worry as a constant cycle

of panic, tears, and resignation.

Lean, rudderless years –

disappointments

interrupted only by self-loathing,

punctuated with the occasional beer.

Trapped in a folk song –

all alone

and out of money for gasoline.

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