We are the mathematicians and they are the physicists (all jibes and swipes are to be taken lightly!!)

A

A is for atom and axiom. While we build beautiful universes from our carefully considered axioms, they try and destroy this one by smashing atoms together.

B

B is for the Banach-Tarski Paradox, proof if it was ever needed that the imaginary worlds which we construct are far more interesting then the dullard of a one that they study.

C

C is for Calculus and Cauchy. They gave us calculus about 340 years ago: it only took us about 140 years to make sure it wasn’t all nonsense! Thanks Cauchy!

D

D is for Dimension. First they said there were three, then Einstein said four, and now it ranges from 6 to 11 to 24 depending on the day of the week. No such problems for us: we just use $n$.

E

E is for Error Terms. We control them, optimise them, upper bound them… they just pretend they’re equal to zero.

F

F is for Fundamental Theorems… they don’t have any.

G

G is for Gravity and Geometry. Ye were great yeah when that apple fell on Newton’s head however it was us asking stupid questions about parallel lines that allowed Einstein to formulate his epic theory of General Relativity.

H

H is for Hole as in the Black Hole they are going to create at CERN.

I

I is for Infinity. In the hand of us a beautiful concept — in the hands of you an ugliness to be swept under the carpet via the euphemism of “renormalisation”…

J

J is for Jerk: the third derivative of displacement. Did you know that the fourth, fifth, and sixth derivatives are known as Snap, Crackle, and Pop? No, I did not know they had a sense of humour either.

K

K is for Knot Theory. A mathematician meets an experimental physicist in a bar and they start talking.

• Physicist: “What kind of math do you do?”,
• Mathematician: “Knot theory.”
• Physicist: “Yeah, Me neither!”

L

L is for Lasers. I genuinely spent half an hour online looking for a joke, or a pun, or something humorous about lasers… Lost Ample Seconds: Exhausting, Regrettable Search.

M

M is for Mathematical Physics: a halfway house for those who lack the imagination for mathematics and the recklessness for physics.

N

N is for the Nobel Prize, of which many mathematicians have won, but never in mathematics of course. Only one physicist has won the Fields Medal.

O

O is for Optics. Optics are great: can’t knock em… 7 years bad luck.

P

P is for Power Series. There are rules about wielding power series; rules that, if broken, give gibberish such as the sum of the natural numbers being $-\frac{1}{12}$. They don’t care: they just keep on trucking.

Q

Q is for Quark… they named them after a line in Joyce as the theory makes about as much sense as Joyce.

R

R is for Relativity. They are relatively pleasant.

S

S is for Singularities… instead of saying “we’re stuck” they say “singularity”.

T

T is for Tarksi… Tarski had a son called Jon who was a physicist. Tarksi always appears twice.

U

U is for the Uncertainty Principle. I am uncertain as to whether writing this was a good idea.

V

V is for Vacuum… Did you hear about the physicist who wanted to sell his vacuum cleaner? Yeah… it was just gathering dust.

W

W is for the Many-Worlds-Interpretation of Quantum Physics, according to which, Mayo GAA lose All-Ireland Finals in infinitely many different ways.

X is unknown.

Y

Y is for Yucky. Definition: messy or disgusting. Example: Their “Calculations”

Z

Z is for Particle Zoo… their theories are getting out of control. They started with atoms and indeed atoms are only the start. Pandora’s Box has nothing on these people.. forget baryons, bosons, mesons, and quarks: the latest theories ask for sneutrinos and squarks; photinos and gluinos, zynos and even winos. A zoo indeed.

PS

We didn’t even mention String Theory!