I am Shiva, The Physics Teacher Of Worlds [Science Tattoos]

By Carl Zimmer | April 23, 2009 12:08 pm

 equationtatwide600.jpg

Alison, a high-school physics teacher, writes:

Like many scientists, the wonder of the natural laws of the Universe is where I draw my spiritual inspiration. I also study the religions of the world, and have been fascinated by the reoccurring theme of Creation, Preservation, and Destruction. The Mandelbrot Set (top) represents Creation, with the emergent properties of a simple equation that produces such a rich, complex, and unpredictable fractal pattern that goes on into Infinity. The equation for hydrostatic equilibrium (bottom left) represents Preservation, describing the precarious balance between crushing gravity and expanding pressure inside of  stars (including our own) to keep them in a stable, sustainable size for billions of years. The equation describing entropy (bottom right) symbolizes Destruction, simply stating that this fundamental break down of systems and accumulation of disorder either increases or stays the same over time, but never decreases. All three circle around the Delta, the symbol for Change.

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Comments (7)

  1. Very nice, crisp line work! This is a phenomenal tattoo!

  2. Oded

    Oh! Just *today* my calculus prof showed Mandlebrot in class, and I’ve been talking about it all day since!

    He should have asked for a tattoo of the Mandlebrot set itself, but, in *full* detail! :D

  3. Oded

    Just read the full description, that is a beautiful tattoo!

  4. Fábio

    I am astonished! Awesome!
    But I think “energy conservation” is more appropriate than “hydrostatic equilibrium”, because it’s a general law.

    Creation could be:
    a+|n> = sqrt(n+1)|n+1>
    and anihilation:
    a|n> = sqrt(n)|n-1>

    Regards

  5. I would have preferred Old MacDonald’s Last Theorem:

    e(i)-e(i)=0

  6. majid

    hello evereybody
    I am a physics teacher.
    if you like add my id for chat about physics and education
    thanks

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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