Simon’s whiteboard

The whiteboard always reflects Simon’s current state of mind:

On the left are Simon’s notes after reading Physics Girl’s blog about quarks (the colourful stuff is foam clay):

Simon showed this expression with Phi to his math teacher, who noticed that Simon didn’t apply the quadratic formula (with a discriminant b24ac) in his solution. The teacher wondered if Simon knows the formula. As it turned out, Simon knew the formula very well but preferred to prove the solution on his own, because it was so beautiful in the case of Phi:

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On the train

Simon waiting patiently as our train was halted for over an hour due to the extreme heat: “If you pick four atoms from the Universe at random, then I would expect you to pick only 26 particles, including 12 up quarks, 9 down quarks and five electrons. This is because the Universe is made of approximately 75 percent hydrogen and approximately 25 percent helium atoms. So you get one proton and one electron for each hydrogen atom, and two protons, two neutrons and two electrons for each helium atom. A proton is made up of up, up and down quarks and a neutron is made up of down, down and up quarks”.