The Nobelprice in Physics was awarde today to the three british researchers David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz for their contribution of the research on ultrathin materials, the plains of the mattter. They used a certain tool, the topology. What I didnot realize so far is that topology is the science of holes: You can not transform a hoop into a ball, the former has a hole in it, the latter not. There are structures with 0,1, 2, 3, … holes which can not be transformed into each other. Interesting.
The Nobel juror Thors Hans Hansson explained this and mentioned that holes can only be whole-numbered. There are not half-holes. This reminded me of Kurt Tucholsky, German pacifist and writer in the first part of the last century who published under the pseudonym Peter Panther a “Zur soziologischen Psychologie der Löcher“, the only English translation I found on this website: http://www.theavanwoland.com/thea_tul_text.html.
I dare to publish some lines from there:
The Philosophic Sociology of the Hole ( by Peter Panther alias Kurt Tucholsky)
A hole is there, where some-thing is not.
The hole is the eternal companion of the non-hole.
Hole on it’s own, there is no such a thing, sorry.
If there would be something everywhere, there wouldn’t be any hole,
but there wouldn’t be any philosophy either and certainly no religion, as such that comes out of it.
The mouse couldn’t live without it, neither does man.
It’s the last chance for both of them, when they are threatened by
Hole – is always good.
The hole is the fundament of social order and that’s how society is…
Tucholsky would have liked this Nobel prize very much.