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Laudau and Curie

Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 09:00 PM (-06:00) Creative Commons License

We were sitting at the edge of the restaurant patio, enjoying a sliver of sun on a blustery day as we ate out salads and soup and sandwiches. A couple with two dogs sat down at a table nearby.

Trudy and the woman made eye contact and realized that they knew each other. 

“Pretty dog,” Trudy said, looking at the woman’s Siberian Husky.

“Thanks,” she said, “he’s Landau.”

Bang! goes my head: Landau and Lifshitz. But I kept the thought to myself. 

Later I mentioned it to Trudy. I whispered that I wanted to ask if their other dog was Lifshitz, and I told Trudy about the series of physics textbooks, Course of Theoretical Physics by L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz.

“You’re hopeless,” she chuckled, as we got up to take our empty plates back into the restaurant.

On the way to the car, we stopped by the table again to chat with the couple and admire the dogs.

“What’s your other dog’s name?” Trudy asked.

“Curie,” the woman said.

Bang! goes my head. I don’t need to tell you what I was thinking. Now, I couldn’t keep it to myself.

“Are these physics names? I mean, is Landau the Landau in Landau and Lifshitz?”

Now the woman’s eyes went wide as she and the man laughed. “Yes!” she said. “You know!”

Yes. And their Volume 1, Mechanics is on the shelf behind me. 1976. Third Edition. 166 pages of lean, gorgeous text.

© jumpingfish by David Hasan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License