Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tutuing with unexpected penguins

I just found out about Google Scholar which is a very nifty thing and so I was tutuing* about with it and searched for "penguin" and came out with First Measurement of the Rate for the Inclusive Radiative Penguin Decay b→sγ which made me curious about what kind of penguin they were on about.

The answer is that there is a kind of feynman diagram for performing calculations in quantum field theory called a penguin diagram. This lovely picture from Wikipedia shows why:

For more information about feynman diagrams and this picture in its natural habitat check out this link.

* tutu is a verb meaning to fiddle or play about with something which I first encountered in Whangarei. I have only met it from New Zealand English speakers from Hamilton and northwards although it is spreading south. It is mentioned on this New Zealand English site and there are a couple of other examples of it being used here.

As a Wellingtonian I am slightly embarassed that a word which might be associated with Auckland has colonised my vocabulary but I feel the word's derivation from the Maori for trouble-maker makes up for that.


Christine said...

I always liked tutuing as a verb - it was very commonly used throughout DOC when I was there.

JK said...

Oh the things you can learn on the web! (I wonder what wonderful quote we'd have from Feynman about the web if he would have lived to see it. Such brilliance, but still fun.)