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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2019
    • (edited Oct 17th 2019)

    added doi-link to

    diff, v11, current

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2019

    added publication data for this:

    • Samuel Lomonaco, The modern legacies of Thomson’s atomic vortex theory in classical electrodynamics, in: Louis Kauffman (ed.) The Interface of Knots and Physics, Proceedings of Symposia in Applied Mathematics Volume 51 (1996) (pdf, doi:10.1090/psapm/051)

    diff, v11, current

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2020

    Added pointer to

    • Filipp N. Rybakov, Julien Garaud, Egor Babaev, Kelvin knots in superconducting state, Phys. Rev. B 100, 094515 (2019) (arXiv:1807.02509)

    Also added cross-link to the entry Skyrmion. I thought I had had a comment here that Skyrmions effectively realize the idea of “votex atoms”, but apparently I didn’t. Maybe later…

    diff, v12, current

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2020

    Ah, found this:

    According to Ranada-Trueba 01, p. 200:

    Skyrme had studied with attention Kelvin’s ideas on vortex atoms.

    If anyone else has something on Skyrme channeling Kelvin, I’d be grateful for a pointer.

    diff, v13, current

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorDavid_Corfield
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2022

    Put the references at the bottom of the page.

    Do we really want

    the failure of the vortex atom theory has been used to warn of too much hope into string theory?

    And I don’t see why the lengthy discussion of how this picture is slightly similar to, but quite different from, Descartes’ plenum. Any objection to me removing that?

    diff, v17, current

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2022

    While I don’t have any time to comment, a real quick reaction:

    The sentence you quote starts out with

    faint shadows of Kelvin’s original idea have been argued to be visible in string theory

    Looks like I wrote this in 2014 (rev 3). Today I would add some clarification:

    First, the usual argument that people make is not about “faint shadows” of one theory inside the other, but instead asserts that Kelvin’s research attitude was as in string theory: guided by compelling-seeming mathematical structures more than by observation.

    On the other hand and somewhat ironically, there is indeed a shadow of Kelvin’s intuition emergent in string theory, albeit remaining widely underappreciated: This is what the comment on Skyrmions further below in the page is getting at (these appear automatically in stringy holographic QCD).

    But given the remarkable success of Skyrmion theory with describing hadrons, this understanding turns the usual criticism on its head, as it shows that Kelvin’s intuition was entirely correct, just the dimensionality of his topological model was off by one.

    Regarding the paragraph on Descartes (apparently also written by myself, in rev 4): I have now re-read that with interest. :-) The quote there is maybe not as pronounced as it could be, but seems relevant.

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorDavid_Corfield
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2022

    Added attribution of the theory jointly with Tait. As in my chapter listed there, it was very much a joint project. Tait showed Thomson how smoke rings bounced off each other. The classification of knots was vital to establish a correspondence between chemical elements and knot types.

    diff, v18, current

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorDavid_Corfield
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2022

    Re Descartes in #6, in an ideal world we’d have an historical account of changing conceptions of the plenum, through to Faraday, Maxwell, etc. and on into the 20th Century.

    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorRodMcGuire
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2022

    Urs #6

    Regarding the paragraph on Descartes (apparently also written by myself, in rev 4): I have now re-read that with interest. :-) The quote there is maybe not as pronounced as it could be, but seems relevant.

    You added after I brought up that quote in some nForum discussion. I thought it might help to examine what we said back in 2014 then but I can’t find it now by Google searching on.


    Google isn’t working very well right now. That search doesn’t even turn up this thread.

    • CommentRowNumber10.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeSep 20th 2022
    • (edited Sep 20th 2022)

    Finally found some time to spare:

    I have (reworked the first few lines of the entry and) expanded out the above comment (#6) to a substantial new subsection: “Impact – Similarity to the Skyrme model for baryons” (now here)

    diff, v19, current