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Re: Post-empirical Physics and the aging physicist

I'm a bit lucky, as I was never a theoretician. I still have extremely
good "hand-eye" coordination and easily create de nuovo modern Physics
demonstrations. However, my vocabulary is dying. Just a few minutes
ago I was writing to a friend about a Greek architect who is a
commentator for a progressive e-zeen. I couldn't remember his residence
even tho I remembered it's the capital, Olympic site, and its port is
Salamis (famous battle). This happens all the time. I must often use
synonyms and descriptions. I retired early (60.75) in Jan. '98. To day
in filling out a form for good customer premia, I had to ask the cashier
to calculate my age -- I still don't remember how old I am! Gate
Keeper has worried that I'm loosing it.

My Father was still very sharp in conversation when he died (90), but he
was fired by the translation company for whom he worked (at 85?),
because his writing was not sufficiently intelligible. My mother has
Alzh. like symptoms due to several TIAs. She was recovering from her
worst one when we went to France (>'95) . The Doc. released her from
the hospital the day we flew with the comment better to die in Paris
than Santa Barbara and instruction to have her INR tested for her
cumadin dose. She could no longer pass as French, but was quite
fluent. She's now 94. So I recently risked the expense of AAPT life
membership assuming I could read for > fifteen more years.

bc, what? me worry!

p.s. A Schadenfreude tale: A physicist colleague gleefully once told me
a very famous Physicist had forgotten what the fine structure constant
was indicating he had lost it; he died soon after. Feynman thought him
very smart back in the 40's.

Leigh Palmer wrote:

David Bowman's problem must by now have led some to learn, as I did
only last semester, of a beautiful theorem in spherical geometry. This
gem came as a byproduct of taking my first GR course out of a text by
Hartle. Since David's problem is still out there, I will partially


rigorous training for a physics professor. As a result, knowing of the
experience of one world class physicist, I do fear losing it. Sometimes
this fear even keeps me from sleeping.

Any other geezers out there share my feelings? What do you do to keep