Saturday, November 10, 2007


I've been trying to understand a certain piece of technical history that is important for accelerator physics. It involves people at each stage and their own skill sets. I'll leave it somewhat vague for now, because I don't understand it well enough. On one end we have various math ideas which from a certain perspective join numerical and analytical approaches, but from another, its just some math. These go under the names differential algebra, non-standard analysis and truncated power series algebra. At the other end of the bridge we have collaborative work on designing a particle accelerator.

The thing is that in some ways this is really just a personal bridge. I am comfortable reading math. And I am comfortable working in a team with an open environment. But in between has been a huge mess.

I was just trying to find references to Foucault's The Order of Things. I found this essay.
What the author says is that Foucault's grand schemes aren't particularly new, and his referencing is pretty poor, but when discussing particulars, he adds new depth.

Continuing my free association: I was just listening to this radio show starring Richard Stallman!

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