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As a postscript to the previous post, did you know the word quark (the elementary particle) came from James Joyce's 'Finnegans Wake'?

American phycisist Murray Gell-Mann first named the discovered particle after the sound of a duck (no idea why), then came across this little poem in 'Finnegans Wake' about King Mark, which supplied the spelling.

Three quarks for Muster Mark!
Sure he has not got much of a bark
And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.

Weird how experimental literature is supplying the vocabulary for subatomic physics. Perhaps metaphors are taking over at the limits of our understanding...



Word of the day, from German: Fernweh. Coined as the opposite of Heimweh (homesickness), it literally means 'farsickness', an ache for the distance, a longing to be far away. Like wanderlust , but even more succinct, Fernweh evokes the d… Read the full post »

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