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The More You Know - March 3, 2011
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Spiked Math Comic - The More You Know

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Haha! Happens with me all the time.

man youre lucky, it takes me MONTHS just to achieve one!

Can you explain Feynman Diagram rules and this apparent re-normalization business that is used in Particle Physics, because I went through steps 1 and 2, stayed at 2 for awhile threw my hands in the air and went to step 3 with the click of understanding the rules but NOT the math...

Renormalisation is itself a field of study. To understand it, you need backgrounding from many other stuff, like mean field theories, why all those infinities turn up, relativity, self-interaction energies and so on. And of course, knowing that they first made progress by getting the experimental value, and after the fact fitting the renormalisation to it, would help (but of course, it has been redone without the crutches since then...)

Currently reading Prime Obsession, about the Riemann Hypothesis, and I have left several parts of me behind on step 2 and have moved forward on FAITH that its right. Is there such a thing as a mathematician belief system?

Of course. Many proofs start out as rough sketches, with lots of hand-waving and "this looks right" or "this should follow". Only later do the details get filled in; until then, it's taken on faith.

Indeed... consider how long Fermat's Last Theorem remained without a formal proof. It was accepted on faith (although unlike in some other fields, mathematical faith is always subject to challenge - and the search for rigorous proof is sought until found).

My favorite proof is: "This is too beautiful not to be true."

transition between steps 3 and 4 is divine

This is sooooooo true... i get that for computer science, but same principle

In computer science, step three is more likely to be called 'grok'

It's also more likely to be called step 2.

Funny how even though the steps are un numbered, everyone assumes everyone else is referring to the same steps.

When i study, i start at the *Click* and end with it making no sense...

There is an alternative circle:
How the...? --> Why?! This makes no sense! --> *click* --> Oooooohhh... --> Wait a second ...

This is a scenario where premature is good.

I typically start in "OHHHHH..." and end up confused and surfing the web [hence *click*]

Wasn't mathgasm supposed to take you into an infinite recurring circle of
?? May be it's just me xD

If your mathgasms last forever, how do you even find the time/inclination to write comments on the internet?

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Hello my fellow math geeks. My name is Mike and I am the creator of Spiked Math Comics, a math comic dedicated to humor, educate and entertain the geek in you. Beware though, there might be some math involved :D

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