The whole story can be found from the page 8 of IMS Bulletin, Vol.37 Issue 7. (click for the pdf file)

Terence’s Stuff: A Rose… by Terry Speed

In recent years I have found myself increasingly irked by the way in which computer scientists, physicists and others have systematically renamed concepts from our world, either to mystify or appropriate them — or (which is worse?) because they were unaware that we had already invented and named them ourselves.

From the context above, I don’t think physicists want to applaud at the following example from the article:

…, logs of probabilities are potential, Hamiltonian or energy functions.

Yet, I’m sympathetic to his uncomfortable feeling when reading astronomical literature from time to time (my inexperience cannot match his deep insights, though).

One Comment
  1. vlk:

    What exactly is his beef with Hamiltonians? They are named after William Rowan Hamilton, who formulated a method for describing dynamical systems. This has been around for almost two centuries. And potentials and Hamiltonians are not logs of probabilities.

    09-02-2008, 9:40 pm
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