Wednesday, July 16, 2008


We have good news! As you might recall, after finishing his PhD Stefan started a position as editor for Springer - the scientific publisher with the little horsehead: "Springer" is the German word for "Knight". (The same scientific publisher whose books show up annoyingly often in Google searches without providing as much as a free abstract.)

Anyway, after two years Stefan's contract recently became permanent! ("entfristet" nennt sich das in Neuhochdeutsch).

At the same time, the bureau in Darmstadt where he was located has been moving to Heidelberg (where I recently gave a seminar at the ITP). Commuting from Frankfurt to Heidelberg has turned out to be quite painful, so we have been looking for a new apartment during the last weeks. Meanwhile, we found a very nice place in the Heidelberg area and are now packing boxes, have to decide what to do with the furniture, and I am trying to convince my beloved husband to throw out some cubic meters of clothes and books and paper printouts he'll never use again in his lifetime.

You might be relieved to hear that the availability of a high speed internet connection was a major criterion for picking the new apartment. We are told it will be set up already next week.



    Everybody is moving!

  2. Congratulations! The Heidelberg Physics Department has large strong groups, and is involved in interesting research. You'll be in a great research environment.

    And it happens to be in one of the most scenic cities in europe!

    Congratulations Again!

  3. Bee:
    Did I miss something? Did you get a new position? If so congradulations!! And the best of luck.

  4. Hi Cecil,

    No, you didn't miss anything, I am not moving to Heidelberg. I will be at PI until next summer. It's just that for election and tax purposes and for my German bank and so on I technically seen live with Stefan in Frankfurt (that's also the address on my German ID card). I am very happy it worked out so well with Stefan's job at Springer, so thanks for the congratulations :-) It is good that at least one of us has a relatively sure employment. Best,


  5. Ahh, the tribulations involved in relationship - or at least living together and being married. Fortunately I'm immune to needing such things. And I thought wireless was ubiquitous in Europe?

  6. Here's to Stefan and Bee of Heidelberg!

    Well, Bee very soon :)

  7. Hi Stefan & Bee,

    Congratulations Stefan on the position firming up and the two of you finding better accommodation. Also, I understand your reluctance to throw out the old papers and for sure the books as after all we are what we read. However, I would give up on the clothes though, for you might not realize it yet that this is actually Bee’s way of letting you know she is going to have you dress better from this point on:-)


    P.S. Now that you are both official residence of Heidelberg does this make you Heidelgergians, Heidelbergonians, Heidelbergers or something else I’ve missed? :-)

  8. Hello Stefan and Bee,

    Congratulations! And it happens that Heidelberg has a respectful institute of theoretical physics where Bee could work. Could things get any better?


  9. Thanks for the good wishes!

    Hi Phil,

    it is Heidelberger, as in Hamburger ;-)

    Cheers, Stefan

  10. Hi Stefan,

    “it is Heidelberger, as in Hamburger ;-)”

    Well that’s certainly better then what one is if they live in Toronto. Most imagine we are Torontonians yet since the (official) nick name for the city is Hogtown that makes us actually Hogtowners:-)



  11. Hello,
    I prefer Heidelbergensis because this
    name is used since some hundred thousands
    of years :=)

  12. "Springer" is the German word for "Knight"

    Where have I seen that before? Oh, over here ... at Knight Tour Tessellations

    It's all about the Knight's moves and Springer Geometry!

    I bet if Lisi plotted the Knight's moves in 3 space or 4 space he could use some rotations and hocus-pocus to conjur up patterns which would correlate to quantum particle and force classifications.

    The Knight Tour site has a link to A Hyperspace Prototype Splicer, which if tweaked in the right way looks similar to a rotating E-8!

    The first link above states:
    The article is named "Springer Geometry," to give homage to the great German chess players and mathematicians throughout the ages. 'Springer' is the German translation for the English word: 'knight.'

  13. Maybe Springer is competing with Nature?

    Anyway, hope you find the play of shadows as interesting there.

  14. Springer' is the German translation for the English word: 'knight.
    Just to clarify: this statement is limited
    to the game of chess.
    The German word "springer" means "jumper" ,
    there is some etymological relation to English season spring or the steel spring, I dont know.
    German translation of "knight" is "Ritter" ,
    which ist the low nobility mounted and
    armoured man.
    But there is a very close word to "knight",
    that is German "Knecht" , some hired man, used in modern German for a hired
    The common root of Knecht and knight is
    obvious, when You hear a scotsman articulate
    "Its a brecht necht tonecht,
    am I recht, knecht?"

  15. Hi George,

    Yes, that is of course correct, if not talking about chess, "springen" means "to jump". I just meant to explain the icon they use with the horsehead. Best,


  16. Congratulations on your move! I think that Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany (those that I saw, that is). I moved there from the US without ever seeing it, but I already knew and trusted people more knowledgeable than me. If I was a more little-sunshine-tolerant person and had more work opportunities in Germany and didn't have the relationship in Italy I had then, I would have tried harder to stay in Heidelberg.

    And it looks like you found a flat quickly! It is usually difficult to find places to live.. the students at the University have even designed art posters that describes the situation (I bought one of their postcards, sympathizing and understanding with them). After some searching (in year ~2000), I found a flat in the Rohrbach district on Kuehler Grund.... I think it is one of the most beautiful areas in the town. You can't miss it if you wander around EMBL. I used to have grueling 300m bicycle climbs up to work at MPI-K and blazingly fun downhill rides home. :-)

  17. Hi Stephan and Bee,

    Congratulation on the new position and on the possible move of Hawking to Canada.

    I would be interested in your opinion of the Springer book:

    SV Alekseenko, PA Kuibin, VL Okulov [thermophysicists, RAS], Theory of Concentrated Vortices: An Introduction, 2007.

    I have not yet read this, but an fascinated by vortex theory.

  18. Congratulations! This is great news.

  19. Hi Bee and Stefan,

    By following the link for Springer I came to see a term which is completely new to me : "Novel Magnetism" What is that?




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