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OT: (or is it?) Landau and Lifshitz

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 4, 2003, 12:03
(a by-product of checking up on "boojum")

The great Russian physicist L. D. Landau was said to have hated
writing.  He coauthored an extraordinary series of textbooks in
collaboration with E. M. Lifshitz, who did all the writing.  From
my perspective Lifshitz operated in a coauthor's paradise.  He
was linked to nature through Landau, who was in deep nonverbal
communion with her, but had no investment whatever in the process
of articulating that communion.

It is also said that even Landau's profound technical papers
were actually written by Lifshitz.  Many physicists look down
on Lifshitz: Landau did the physics, Lifshitz wrote it up.  I
don't believe that for a minute.  If Evgenii Lifshitz really
wrote the amazing papers of Landau, he was doing physics of the
highest order.  Landau was not so much a coauthor, as a natural
phenomenon -- an important component of the remarkable coherence
of the physical world that Lifshitz wrote about so powerfully
in the papers of Landau.

        --from a lecture by N. David Mermin (inventor of "boojum")

John Cowan
To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all.  There are
no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language that
they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful. --The Hobbit