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Encyclopedia > John Baez

John Carlos Baez (b. 1961) is a leading American mathematical physicist, well known for his work on spin foams in loop quantum gravity. More recently, his research has focused on applications of higher categories to physics. Mathematical physics is a scientific discipline aimed at studying and solving problems inspired by physics within a mathematically rigorous framework. ... In physics, a spin foam is a four-dimensional graph made out of two-dimensional faces that represents one of the configurations that must be summed to obtain Feynmans path integral (functional integration) describing the alternative formulation of quantum gravity known as loop gravity or loop quantum gravity. ... Loop quantum gravity (LQG), also known as loop gravity, quantum geometry and canonical quantum general relativity, is a proposed quantum theory of spacetime which attempts to blend together the seemingly incompatible theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity. ... Category theory is a mathematical theory that deals in an abstract way with mathematical structures and relationships between them. ...

However, Baez is no doubt best known to most denizens of UseNet as the author of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics. Started in 1993, this irregular series of postings, featuring an unpredictable but often fascinating mix of gossip, superb exposition, intellectual bravura, sometimes pointed criticism, and lively followups, has earned a devoted following world-wide, and is often regarded as an inspiration for the concept of the personal weblog. Baez is also well known on the World Wide Web as the author of an ironical crackpot index. Usenet is a distributed Internet discussion system that evolved from a general purpose UUCP network of the same name. ... The first use of the term weblog. ... Graphic representation of the World Wide Web around Wikipedia The World Wide Web (WWW, W3, or simply Web) is an information space in which the items of interest, referred to as resources, are identified by global identifiers called Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs). ... The crackpot index is a number that rates scientific claims or the individuals that make them, in conjunction with a method for computing that number. ...

Baez earned his Ph.D. at MIT in 1986, under the direction of Irving Segal. He can trace his mathematical geneology directly to the Prince of Mathematicians himself, Carl Friedrich Gauss (see oversized figure below). The only name in this net which may not be familiar to non-Russian mathematicians is that of Nikolai Bugaev, biological father of Boris Bugaev, a.k.a. Andrei Bely (the polymath author of the celebrated novel Petersburg), and Doktorvater of Dmitri Egorov, through whom many famous Russian mathematicians also descend from Gauss. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, is a research institution and university located in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts along the Charles River and across from Bostons Back Bay district. ... Irving Ezra Segal (1918-1998) was a mathematician known for work on theoretical quantum mechanics. ... Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (Gauß) (April 30, 1777 – February 23, 1855) was a German mathematician and scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, magnetism, astronomy and optics. ... In topology and related areas of mathematics a net or Moore-Smith sequence is a generalization of a sequence, intended to unify the various notions of limit and generalize them to arbitrary topological spaces. ... Nikolai Vasilievich Bugaev (Russian: , September 14, 1837 - June 11, 1903 ) was a prominent Russian mathematician. ... Boris Budaev Andrei Bely (Андрей Белый) was the pseudonym of Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev (1880 - 1934), a Russian novelist, poet, theorist, and literary critic. ... Petersburg or St. ...

The singer Joan Baez is a cousin of John Baez. Joan Baezs 1975 bestseller Diamonds & Rust. ...

Abbreviated mathematical geneology of John Baez; appropriately enough, the topology is a causal net rather than a simple tree, possibly because technically speaking, Weierstrass's doctorate was only an honorary degree.
Abbreviated mathematical geneology of John Baez; appropriately enough, the topology is a causal net rather than a simple tree, possibly because technically speaking, Weierstrass's doctorate was only an honorary degree.

Baez currently teaches at the University of California, Riverside. Image File history File links Abbreviated mathematical geneology of John Carlos Baez (b. ... Topology (Greek topos, place and logos, study) is a branch of mathematics concerned with the study of topological spaces. ... A tree with 6 vertices and 5 edges In graph theory, a tree is a graph in which any two vertices are connected by exactly one path. ... The University of California, Riverside is a public, coeducational university situated in Riverside, California beside Box Springs Mountain. ...

External links

  • Baez's home page
  • This Week's Finds


  • "John Carlos Baez." The Mathematics Geneology Project. American Mathematical Society. Accessed on August 13, 2005. (As of 2005, Gauss in fact has some 28,500 mathematical descendents around the world, so for a mathematician, descending directly from Gauss is not really terribly unusual.)
  • Baez, John C. (ed.) (1994). Knots and quantum gravity. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-198-53490-6.
  • Baez, John C.; Segal, & Muniain, Javier (1994). Introduction to algebraic and constructive quantum field theory. Singapore: World Scientific. ISBN 9-810-22034-0.
  • Baez, John C.; Segal, Irving E.; and Zhou, Zhenfang (1992). Introduction to algebraic and constructive quantum field theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08546-3.

  Results from FactBites:
John Baez - definition of John Baez in Encyclopedia (133 words)
John C. Baez is an American mathematical physicist who works on loop quantum gravity and applications of category theory to physics.
He was born in 1961 and is now a professor at the University of California, Riverside.
Baez has a strong presence on the Internet, where he is best known for This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, his popular periodic (but not really weekly) compilation of article summaries that he posts on various Usenet newsgroups and archives on his website (see External links below).
  More results at FactBites »



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