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Subject: Re: Physicists and mathematicians

Author: Peter Fendrich

Date: 05:36:08 08/19/98

Go up one level in this thread

On August 19, 1998 at 07:13:52, fca wrote:

>On August 19, 1998 at 06:20:56, Peter Fendrich wrote:
>>I think the typical physician solution is:
>>The brothers will meet in 1 1/4 hour.
>>The dog, runing back and forth, will during that time reach 8 miles/h * 1 1/4 h
>>= 10 miles
>>The mathematician approach is in a way more 'lazy' than the physician.
>>I think the typical mathematician answear would be:
>>The brothers are reachig each other with a speed of 8 miles/h which is the same
>>speed as the dog is running.
>>The dog must run the same distance as the brothers are walking, 10 miles.
>Which reply I gave earlier in the thread  ;-)
>You have got it completely the wrong way around, Peter. the answer is inside the
>circle. :-)
>(1) Relative velocity is a concept far too complex for most mathematicians - it
>is fraught with existence-type problems, and the general relativity involved as
>they started off would send the math-head into rigor *tensor*;
>(2) Multiplication of reals without having established the closeness of the
>operation to that set is something a phys-head would only undertake under
>supervision of a math-guy - or would it not occur to him?
>(3) Thet the straight-line was indeed the shortest distance would not occur to
>the math-guy, without the problem having been better stated to begin with.  I
>suggest an orthogonal prefix something along the lines "Consider a bijection
>from RXRXR to R wherein [snipped in advance of trouble]..."
>(4) The phys-head would frighten the math-guy away from the faster solution with
>talk of the dangerous of confusing vectors and scalars, some varied irrelevant
>Heisenberg references, a paradox or two
>I see a non-Dedekind cut being brought in here, so...
>More interesting to me is how would the **computer chess guy** solve this sort
>of problem?  If the answer involves bean-counting, or paradigms of any flavour,
>or fairy chess, please follow this up somewhere else
>Kind regards

Well maybe we don't know the same type of guys. There are physicians and there
are physicians as well as for the math-guys...
In my profession I mostly get in touch with engineers and that's another story
completely! They would certainly solve this but start thinking about what would
*really* happen here. The dog is say 1 meter in length and can't possible run 8
miles/h when it's only 3 meters left to run and furthermore when it's 1 meter
left he cant run at all. The answear should be 10 miles minus 1 meter minus some
decreasing factor for the last few meters. Let's try it in the lab! And so on...

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