With many thanks to Dickinson State College

I said in the last post that I didn’t know anything about Arthur Schuster before reading his quote on hearing the shape of a bell. Actually that was not quite true: he is mentioned three times in the book of Max Jammer on the history of Quantum Mechanics, and one reference leads to the source of the quote. This was a report for the 1882 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Southampton in August 1882. The full report of the meeting can be read online, and Schuster’s paper starts on page 120, the baffled skillful mathematician appearing at the end of this first page (I’ve also prepared a PDF of these two pages).

Now I have to thank whoever decided to withdraw Max Jammer’s book from the library of Dickinson State University (née Dickinson State College), which is where the copy I recently got from BetterWorldBooks came from…

The holder for the library slip

is still in the book, and it was apparently only borrowed twice, once in 1978 and once in 1982 (or maybe 1992).

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I am a professor of mathematics at ETH Zürich since 2008.

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