Brittany writes:

“Someday i hope to be a wacky, flannel-sportin’ physicist. my tattoo is schroedinger’s equation for the wave function of a particle. i chose this equation because its elegance & symmetry reflect that of our multiverse, & also because it describes the fundamental source of “quantum weirdness.” time travel, quantum computers…no matter what happens in my life, there is an infinitely Glorious Plan swirling all about us….I would be honored to be included among the ranks of badass scientists all over the world. oh, & if you have any pull with any preeminent physicists, tell brian greene to return my fan mail! :]”

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Mark writes:

“This tattoo is the Zermelo-Fraenkel with Choice axioms of set theory. These nine axioms are the basis for ZFC set theory, which is the most commonly studied form of set theory and the most well known set of axioms as well. From these nine axioms, one can derive all of mathematics. These provide the foundation of mathematics, a field that you can likely tell that I love dearly.”

Carl: Mark is making an encore appearance at the Emporium. See his Y combinator here…

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Drew, an oceanography graduate student, writes:

“This, on my leg, is the incompressible form of the conservation of mass equation in a fluid, also known as the continuity equation. When people ask what it means, I say it defines flow. Sometimes I say it means you should have studied more physics, but that is only when I am feeling like being funny. What it means in more detail is that, for an incompressible fluid, the partial derivative of the velocity of the fluid in the three spatial dimensions must sum to zero. It therefore concisely states the fundamental nature of a fluid.”My advisor took this picture, and I swear he is obsessed (in a good way) with this tattoo. He is giving a talk at Woods Hole next week as he is the recipient of an award, and he is planning to show off ‘how quantitative scripps students are’ which i think is hilarious and only slightly mortifying. Speaking of mortifying, it is slightly mortifying to be sending this email at all–I have to admit I am a little embarrassed. It is definitely the most vain thing i have done today. I do have an ulterior motive which I have no problem admitting: I want to stake a claim on this particular piece. I guess it might be a little lame to want to claim ownership over something so silly but there it is and I guess at least I can admit it.”

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Greg writes:

“I’m currently a Ph.D. student studying maths in Australia (submitting next week). The the tattoo on the top, I got about three years ago in Berkeley, CA. The other tattoo I got about a year later in Sydney, Australia. Both these tattoos are closely related to the research I’ve done for my Ph.D., which is in the area of elliptic partial differential equations. The top equation is called the Monge-Ampere equation and is the archetype of the equations I currently study. The bottom equation is called the ‘Infinity Laplacian’ and was chosen because it is correlated to variational theories which I find to be beautiful. Loosely speaking these equations are correlated to how surfaces (in arbitrary dimension) bend and curve. I figured since I did half my Ph.D. in the US and half in Australia, I would get at least one tattoo in each of those countries. The tattoos are meant to represent a memory of the time I spent in my studies.”

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“Here is a picture of my friend who is completing his physics degree this year and his awesome tattoos.”–Joshua Olson

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j-rad writes, “The time dilation formula is over my heart and represents my personal belief in life: the faster you go, the more you get to see and the more you get to live. maximum intensity and maximum velocity at all times for maximum lifetime experience per life.”

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Bart writes, “”I’m just happy that the artist now understands what a Swartzchild Radius is.”

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Tristan writes, “As the movie ‘Pi’ has now so clichely put it, “Numbers are the language of nature.” As a physicist, I always felt this was one of the most beautiful sentences in that language — a medley of the five most important numbers. Through an odd turn of events, this is actually my own handwriting from a bar napkin.” www.rpgroup.caltech.edu/~natsirt/tatoo.jpg

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