I realize that this is a physics blog, so we have a very skewed audience here, but I’m curious: How many of you have ever heard of Noether’s Theorem or Emmy Noether? No cheating and looking it up. This is for science!

**-Dave**

p.s. Thursday or Friday I’ll be doing an Ask a Physicist column on “What happened before the big bang?” It’ll be heavily excerpted from the User’s Guide, and even more heavily speculative.

I have. In fact I’m pretty sure you taught it to me.

I probably shouldn’t count this in my sampling.

Emmy Noether is a famous female mathematician from the 19th century. I forgot what Noether’s theorem is about, but I guess topology.

I checked back with the Wikipedia article I have happened on by chance a few times (or I wouldn’t know who she is). I was half-right about the 19th century and wrong about topology – ah well.

Rings a vague distant bell. Mentioned in a sci am article? No idea what it’s about

Looked it up. I think it was mentioned in a Stephen Baxter novel

Noether’s theorem is a statement about conserved currents and how they relate to symmetries. A super-duper trivial application of her theorem gives us Hamilton’s Equations.

Noether was a mathematician contemporary with Hilbert.

I remember looking her up at some point and being disappointed with the lack of notable quotations.

I’m afraid I had heard of neither. cheers, Andi