The Four Ways Physicists Name Things

So very spot on.

4 gravitons

If you’re a biologist and you discover a new animal, you’ve always got Latin to fall back on. If you’re an astronomer, you can describe what you see. But if you’re a physicist, your only option appears to involve falling back on one of a few terrible habits.

The most reasonable option is just to name it after a person. Yang-Mills and the Higgs Boson may sound silly at first, but once you know the stories of C. N. Yang, Robert Mills, Peter Higgs and Satyendra Nath Bose you start appreciating what the names mean. While this is usually the most elegant option, the increasingly collaborative nature of physics means that many things have to be named with a series of initials, like ABJM, BCJ and KKLT.

A bit worse is the tendency to just give it the laziest name possible. What do you…

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