A Candle in the Dark

A look on science, politics, religion and events

Hot poetry from MIT

with 2 comments

These are samples from MIT’s poetry page for the Thermodynamics of Materials course, taught by professor Craig Carter. Check out the website for more really good (and some terrible) compositions. This one from Juliãn Villarreal is simply brilliant.

Solids, Liquids, Gases, lend me your heat; I come to bury Willard, not to raise him. A mess of atoms lives after him; The heat is oft stored with their bonds; So let it be with Gibbs. The noble Carter Hath told you that Gibbs was minimized: If it were so, it’s at stability, And at stability hath Gibbs done it. Here, under leave of Carter and the rest – For Carter is a knowledgeable man; So are they all, all knowledgeable men – Come I to speak in Gibbs’ funeral. He was heat’s friend, generous at low T: But Carter says he was minimized; And Carter is a knowledgeable man. But entropy hath brought many systems To parity whose energies were less: Is this how Willard was minimized? When temperature rose, Gibbs hath died. “Minimized” should be made of sterner stuff: Yet Carter says he was minimized; And Carter is a knowledgeable man. We all did see that in the lecture hall He thrice showed Gibbs in differential form, Which we did thrice confuse: was this “minimized”? Yet Carter says he was minimized; And, sure, he is a knowledgeable man. I speak not to refute what Carter spoke, But here I do speak so that all may know. we all did love Gibbs once, not without cause: What cause witholds us then, to exalt him? O grade point! thou art fled to fours and threes, but 3.046 hath taught us much. Such as these: Gibbs is naught for systems in parity, And equals enthalpy less S and T.

This one is from professor Carter himself.

To freeze or not to freeze: That is the question: Whether ’tis fav’rable to gain entropy with such jostlings of outrageous portion Or to bond, free’ng seas of enthalpy And thus subside S? P and T: thus G No more; and by reducing say we end Activations of thousand nat’ral shocks that bonds do suffer. ‘Tis min’mization Devoutly pursu-ed. To freeze, to melt; To melt: perchance to flow; ay, there’s the rub which warms shackles that tie so rigidly; by such warmth to be dislodged, even boil.

And of course, what good is a poetry page without limericks?

There is a state function named S,
Whose growth is a pitiful mess,
“Just look at its gut!”
“The size of its butt!”
Poor entropy will never be less.
-Terry Huang

This one’s from Tim Hong

There once was a smart girl named Sandy,
When it came to thermo she was quite handy,
Request a phase plot,
And more often than not,
The Gibbs phase rule was her modus operandi.

And while on the subject of MIT poetry, check out this song by the fifth beatle, Prof Max Tegmark (Thanks to Chiranjeevi for the pointer)


Written by parseval

May 13, 2008 at 11:48 pm

Posted in fun

2 Responses

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  1. “the fifth beatle”
    You mean he’s played with The Beatles at some point of time?


    June 24, 2008 at 7:50 pm

  2. Nah, just that it’s based on the Beatles song, ‘We All Live in A Yellow Submarine’


    June 24, 2008 at 8:27 pm

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