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C O U R S E 
Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity
Larry Lagerstrom, Stanford University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Dirac, Einstein, and Mathematical Beauty
Notes taken on June 23, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
"make things as simple as possible, but not simpler"
Occam's Razor
we don't want to multiply hypotheses unnecessarily
strike a balance between explanatory power and over-complexity
"Our experience hitherto justifies us in trusting that nature is the realization of the simplest that is mathematically conceivable."
how is it that mathematics is so successful in describing the physical reality and nature, especially in the field of physics
Einstein believes that examining things mathematically, by thinking mathematically, we can get at the essense of nature
others looked for the beauty in mathematics
Paul Dirac
the generation after Einstein
although they were contemporaneous
applied relativity to the new theory of quantum mechanics
famous for always saying that he looked for beauty in his equations, that how he knows they are true
but there are many cases when beauty can lead one astray
you may find beautiful, very symmetric equations, which, however, do not match reality
there is room for debate here
quantum electrodynamics
1930s - 1940s
theory predicts certain values to 8 or 9 decimal places
experiments verify this