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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Who needs memory?

David Shechtman
Latest Nobel Laureate
for chemistry
discovered quasi-crystals
back in '82.

So everybody laughed.
(Not I, did you?)

First came the fractals
endlessly repeating
their own forms
on every scale;
now quasi-crystals,
exactly the reverse,
in non-repeating
patterns to infinity.

So they forced him
to resign. "No such
thing," they said
"as quasi-crystals -
only quasi scientists."

They knew - as did
we all - that matter,
all of solid matter
for that matter,
is composed
of crystals packed
in regular arrays.

Not so for quasi
crystals. Each stage
makes a transition
to the next, creates
the pattern
next in line.
The past
is meaningless.
It's strictly no repeats.
The process is
completely memoryless.

I and Quasi-crystals
have that much
in common.

Let me repeat...
except I can't, I too
am (almost)
sans recall! But I
shall sing it
from the rooftops.

Man achieves
what nature
pioneers... in
Medieval Mosques
mosaics have
this self same form.

Beauty can blossom
without memory!
There's hope for me!

The upper image is of some aperiodic (or quasi-) crystals. The lower one is of mosaic tiles laid to an aperiodic pattern.


Windsmoke. said...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder :-).

sunny said...

Hi Mr Dave,very well done,good idea

kaykuala said...

Patterns can be bewitching. But apparently it is more than that. It seems to be quite technical from your explanation. And there are a number of new words bandied about!


Isabel Doyle said...

science is amazing
we are part of science and science is part of us

Jenny Woolf said...

I never got my head around a TV programme which proved that everything in the world is actually based on maths. But I'm sure it's right. We have only scratched the surface. I can't fix my eyes on the top photo, someone needs to alter the colours on it to make it more comprehensible, like they have with the mosaic tiles.

Pearl said...

I love when science reads more like poetry.



Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


An interesting and informative piece of writing.
I suspect that we have not seen or heard the last of the eternal disparaging EXPERTS, of past, present and future! Blind to all evidence placed before their eyes.

Beautiful patterns!!


Brian Miller said...

beauty can blossom without memory there is hope for me...smiles. i like that...and i am glad they finally recognized him after the way he was treated...true justice...

Mary said...

You almost make science interesting, Dave; but mostly I appreciate beautiful patterns in your words.

Dave King said...

Indeed it is - or it's nowhere.

Thanks a lot for this.

It is technical, and gets more so as you get inmto it, but it's also fundamental to our understanding of how the world is made - apparently.

Yes, and the truth of the second part of your comment is even more amazing than that of the first part.

I think I know what you mean, but yes, I do believe the dictum that "God is a mathematician".

Hi, welcome and thank you for visiting.
I fully agree. Art, science and theology are all one in my book - or would have been, if I'd written one!

I think you may well be right. Learning does tend to blinker people at times. Thank you for the comment. Beautiful indeed!

Ah, yes, there is some justice in the world!

The poet-cum-scientist, that's the goal!

jabblog said...

The more we learn, the less we know or rather we realise how much we have still to unravel.

Ruchi Jain said...

One i wrote on same topic memories,,

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