Monday, February 1, 2010

Anne Hathaway Needs Your Help (in Physics)!

According to this, Hollywood Actress Anne Hathaway is not a big fan of fashion magazines, instead she prefers studying books by legendary scientist Albert Einstein and physics textbooks in her spare time. 


The Devil Wears Prada beauty admits she wants to better understand the universe, reports The Daily Express.

She tells GQ magazine, "I'm interested in elementary particles. What I like thinking about is how time and space exist in the universe and how we understand it. 

“Any spare time I have, I bury my head in a physics textbook. I'm learning. I'm reading a lot about Einstein. I like theories. I want to understand string theory. I am dying for someone to explain quarks to me!" 

A PERSONAL NOTE TO ANNE HATHAWAY:

Dear Anne,

First, thanks for your fine body of work, beginning with The Princess Diaries, and everything since. I'm a fan, as well as a former actor who can therefore appreciate your skills.

So, you can talk to me! I would however also recommend your talking to the total expert, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Frank Wilczek,  a recent article about which can be found by clicking here. Frank is THE MAN to talk to regarding quarks.

Also and as you'll see, he's currently writing a novel that will almost surely be turned into a Hollywood film. You could star in it! Dr. Peter Woit of Columbia University would make an excellent co-star.

I also recommend clicking here for background on Frank and Quarks. That article has been re-printed in updated form in Discover Magazine's "Extreme Universe" special  issue currently on sale through late March 2010 at local bookstore chains.

I hope that helps! I live about 15 minutes from Millburn, NJ, your hometown, 
and would be more than willing to explain in person should you decide to visit 
your hometown in the near future.

Sincerely and wishing you good fortune,
Steve Colyer 
 
P.S. and UPDATE : David Gross also won that Nobel Prize with Frank, and works at 
the Kavli Institute in Santa Barbara, in case you're stuck in Los Angeles (my
sympathies if so). Gross was Frank's thesis advisor.


There are two great websites I would advise reading on this stuff that make it much
easier to inculcate: Andrew Thomas' "What is Reality?", which is the clearest
introduction to Quantum Mechanics on the web, and PhD. in Physics Sabine 
Hossenfelder's "BackReAction" blog, which is the most Human of science blogs. 
If you get tired of guys like Jérôme in the replies below hitting on you, she is 
one of the rare Women in Physics, and we all know how girls like to chat. 
You can talk to me too that way, as I'm married and off the market. 
I really do appreciate you for your mind. And your song in "Ella Enchanted," 
since I'm a big fan of Queen, and you were just lovely in it.  
Ironically, as I type these words, I just watched you live announcing the nominees
for this year's Academy Awards. Well Done! "District 9" nominated for Best Picture?
Great!
"As physics evolves, the image of the proton that quantum chromodynamics has given us may come to seem reassuringly concrete and solid—although solid is just what a proton is not. Flying into one—if you can imagine doing that, riding the strong force in a kind of subnuclear glider—would be like falling through Earth's atmosphere. The upper atmosphere of the proton is a thin cirrus of virtual quark-antiquark pairs; they form a shield for what lies below. As you fall past them, the atmosphere gets denser and denser, the clouds thicker and thicker. Your plane is struck with increasing frequency and force by flashes of color lightning—the gluons. And then, perhaps four fifths of the way through your descent, you emerge from the cloud cover. The ride is calmer now. The lightning bolts have not disappeared; they have fused to a continuous sheet, and somehow you feel at once featherlight and immune from all forces. You're near the center of the proton now, utterly trapped as you fall toward the asymptote of utter freedom, and you are finding . . . not much.

"The closer you look, the more you find the proton is dissolving into lots of particles, each of which is carrying very, very little energy," says Wilczek. "And the elements of reality that triggered the whole thing, the quarks, are these tiny little things in the middle of the cloud. In fact, if you follow the evolution to infinitely short distances, the triggering charge goes to zero. If you really study the equations, it gets almost mystical."




Anne in Performance:


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23 comments:

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

Dear Anne Hathaway,

It seems like Steven has NO ability to explain quarks to you. It seems like Steven has not the fine teaching ability to do it properly, which only FRENCH people have.

So, if you find the time to visit Strasbourg, which is where Bretzels were invented and which is more romantic than Paris, then call me, and we will learn together the science of matter and bodies.

Bests,

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

Steven: Hands off, Steven, you can't anything against the lovely reputation of French dudes !!!

Steven Colyer said...

Why am I not surprised a Frenchman was the first to respond? ;-p

Steven Colyer said...

I have considerably updated the article, adding a P.S. UPDATE, linking to Andrew's and Bee's websites, and even calling out Jérôme in hopefully a nice way in the main body of the article.

I do this because I am a roguish imp. I don't know any other way I'd rather like to be.

Andrew Thomas said...

Dear Anne, I am sure Steven would do an excellent job at teaching you physics. So if you just want meaningless sex, come see me.

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

Dear Anne,

An asymptotic freedom
Is between me and you
A flavor to come

Let's live the momentum
Out, in an eternal youth
I promise you lack of boredom

Your belovèd

Steven Colyer said...

Et tu, Andrew? (Hey, that rhymes!)

I have now found yours and Jérôme's Achilles heel ... beautiful women! Who do guys think you are? Schrödinger and Feynman?

But seriously, how many times a day do you think she has to put up with that kind of thing? She's obviously doing her best to reach out to an honorable intelligent man who appreciates her for her two big brain hemispheres.

If you know of other Hollywood celebrities who are interested in Physics (Tiger Woods doesn't count) oh DO please let us know.

This way, one lucky gent (or lady) can become The Physics Prof to the Stars!

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

Well I to must admit that despite my age I would find it difficult to give Ms. Hathaway personal instruction in physics while remaining totally focused on the subject. The physical beauty really is not the problem ,yet rather I’ve always found that when the other sex comes with such a serious interest it’s not the physical that has me so much attracted, yet rather the beautiful mind. Of course if you put the two together what chance would I have to be able to remained focused; no I’m afraid only through email could I manage at all:-)

Oh yes my take on Shrodinger and Feynman is they where more attracted to the Bimbo type rather than what's presented here as they served more of a distraction at times when they found such encounters to have things to cognately gel and as such I believe they would have been more focused on her thoughts rather then their own.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

Oh yes particularly in Feynman’s case he was attracted to cocktail waitresses in trying to fool them into believing his was something he was not. It appears Ms. Hathaway in being no fool would not quite fit the bill as to what Feynman found as enjoyable as he may have his own chained pulled rather than hers and in a manner he never suspected:-)

Best,

Phil

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

Another way to operate could be to let Anna Hathaway meet Lisa Randall, and watch at distance the two of them get into some profound explanation of the subject (I swear I am here talking about physics, and nothing like all the kind of shameful things you all have on your mind, and which I did NOT evoked anyhow!).

Best,

Steven Colyer said...

Hi Jérôme,

Nice poem by the way, even if you're one for whom English is a second language. Now you see, Andrew? The French know how to properly seduce a lady. Although once again, I am not surprised it was a Frenchman who put the image in our minds of the second hottest woman in Physics and the hottest Actress in Hollywood, together. :-) sacre bleu

Hi Phil,

Good point re Hathaway vs. Feynman would have come out in Anne's favor. Also, although we do our best to separate a man's personal life from his professional one, ... everyone loves gossip, if they're honest. Men call it "bullshitting" or "shooting the breeze," but gossip it be.

It is further interesting that Schrödinger lost his appointment to Oxford based on his living with two women, neither of whom were his wife Annie, who herself was probably off "doing Europe" in every sense of the word with Schrödinger's best friend, Hermann Weyl.

Actually, hmm, THAT would be a good movie for Anne to star in, possibly write and promote: "Hermann and Erwin." A bit of that (and SO much more) is in California science journalist Louisa Gilder's wonderful book:

The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn.

Hi Anne,

There are several good women's roles in that book, as women have had much stronger influence than Science teachers teach in the History of 20th Century Physics.

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

even if you're one for whom English is a second language

You're tripping me up Steven, that's not fair!... So, I dare resort to the powerfullest massive seduction weapon ever :

Dear Anne,

I live 2 hours by train away from Paris.

Sorry Steven, I didn't want to, but you made me act this way...

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

@Steven: By the way, who is the FIRST hottest woman in Physics you were writing about?

Steven Colyer said...

The heart is like an ocean, Jérôme.

My wife, of course is the hottest I know.

Steven Colyer said...

Do live closer to Johnny Depp or Sean Penn?

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

All these people with visions of grandeur as to who would serve as being the best instructor in the physical sciences for Ms. Hathaway. Andrew of course says being English has him best equipped, while Jérôme feels it’s the French and of course with you it would be an American. However, when we take everything into account such as for instance she wanting professional help with string theory in respect to cosmology I would say it requires a truly brilliant and dynamic researcher. Also because of Ms. Hathaway’s youth and spirit I would say it requires someone also that could keep up with her exuberance for theory and life more generally. When everything is factored in the only candidate that satisfies all would then have to be a Canadian and a very special one at that. I bet you thought I was going go recommend someone else, yet I have no visions of grandeur :-)

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Nima's cool, Phil. Thanks for that. I still think he's thinking too small on the dimensions stuff. 1 mm? My theory's bigger than that! Try 15 billion light years, or more! :-)

Hi Jérôme,

You HAD to drop the "P"-bomb (Paris) didn't you? That's simply not fair! lol Better for you would have been the offer of reading Marcel Proust to her, in French, and in translation. All American girls know who Proust was, or should. Zero English or American men do. Indeed, most of them don't know who Victor Hugo was. Literature, my friend, literature. Oui.

OK this was fun, but back on topic.

Hi Anne,

String Theory, which you mentioned, is a highly controversial topic in Physics. I would advise staying away from the subject for the time being. You are likely to get as many opinions on the subject as people you ask. It is however very popular in Science magazines such as Discover and Scientific American and New Scientist. Read all of these with a large grain of salt, which I'm sure is no problem for a New Jersey girl such as yourself, as skepticism seems to be in our water.

Quarks are a more down to earth topic, but still may be a bit advanced for you at this time. It has to do with something called The Standard Model. A good goal for all of us, not just you, would be to better understand THAT model.

You first mention Einstein. Kudos, good call. Special Relativity and General Relativity are wonderful topics. DO go there. Once you're ready to move on to Quantum Mechanics, any of us can help. But begin with Relativity, yes. The math isn't insurmountable, it's basically a question of merging Geometry and Algebra, both of which are very developed and understandable.

By the way, do you know Calculus?

Steven Colyer said...

A bit more about Anne's interview can be found at guardian.co.uk here.

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

Do live closer to Johnny Depp or Sean Penn?

In fact, I was born in Southern France, though I no longer live here today. There, my father works as a builder. The previous firm he worked for has built Johnny Depp-Vanessa Paradis's house near La Cote d'Azur. A huge house.

As you can see, according to the theory anyone knows big stars at least up to the fifth degree in one's friendship connection network.

They're inviting me next week for lunch. Would you come with me, Steven?

Best,

Steven Colyer said...

You're referring to the Six Degrees of Separation thing, which was discovered in Germany if I'm not mistaken. Sure, I'd love to go to Europe, but I have 2 kids in college and they've bankrupted me. It's debt after debt from here on out eventually leading to selling the house at this rate. However I do believe it is Anne you should be asking out, and if she says oui, kindly tell her that subatomic particles are not made of elements, nor is the soul. ;-P

Girl's got some learning to do.

Steven Colyer said...

The "Anne Hathaway Loves Physics" express keeps rolling on. Now China Daily has jumped in, with a bit more info:

"What I like thinking about is how time and space exist in the universe and how we understand it. Any spare time I have I bury my head in a physics textbook. What I also think is fascinating is that the elements at the atomic and subatomic level make-up everything. You, me, the buildings, our souls, our minds. Remember I'm living in Los Angeles, so I'm interested in energies and vibes. Look, it's not a very polished argument but I'm learning."

Energy, Vibrations, and Los Angeles. Nice analogy, unless you're not talking about "The Big One" earthquake that will kill, oh ... 8 - 20 million people? Something like that. Come back to New Jersey Anne before it's too late! New York City is still the most happening city on Earth.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

What are you doing worrying about the welfare of Ms. Hathaway when there are greater things to be concerned with today, in particular the SUPER BOWL!!!! It’s a classic battle of brawn vs brains with each side needing all they can muster of each. So may the best team win, well that only if it be the Colts of course:-) Oh yes when I asked someone who would be featured at halftime and their only replied being I was correct. It all has me to be reminiscent of : Abbot and Costello-)

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

The Who will perform at halftime. Yes, go Colts! I'm so tired of hearing "Who Dat?" it's almost driving me crazy. It will/should be a close game in any event.

Abbott and Costello were great, thanks for that.