Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Japanese with Einstein

Recently I went to the bar "Drunken Tigers Wisdom" with the maths kids, to watch them eating chicken cartilage and raw eggs, and to practice my Japanese a little. One of the maths kids, a lecturer called Shuji, completed his undergraduate studies in Physics just as I did, and so we had some discussions about physics in Japanese. It was here that I learnt that most useful of phrases, "God does not play dice with the universe" - or, in Japanese, kami-samma wa saiko furenai. This is, of course, Einstein's most famous error (after the hairstyle), and interestingly seems to be quite a popular phrase here. Shuji also explained Bell's Inequality to the other students, again in Japanese, and sadly this was a test of my Japanese which I failed miserably. Since I understand and have studied Bell's Inequality, I hoped I would be able to test my Japanese by trying to understand it when he explained it - but sadly, my language skills have not progressed much further than "I think I have drunk too much, and now I need to go to the toilet." Still, Bell's Inequality was something of an epiphany for me at University, so maybe it will be an epiphany for me again at University - this time, when I can understand the language it is spoken in rather than the theorem. I wonder which is going to be harder?


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