Thursday, March 3, 2016

Arnold diffusion (and poets of Romania)

     I have had the good fortune to attend two BIRS Math / Creative Writing workshops in Banff (most recently in January 2016) and one of the organizers of these workshops has been Florin Diacu, a Romanian-Canadian mathematician-poet at Canada's University of Victoria. (For a bit more about my interest in Romanian poets, you may visit this posting from 2012 ; for still more, use "Romania" as a blog-search term.)
     Recently I discovered the following poem by Florin in the January 2014 issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics and that online journal's open-access policy permits me to offer it here.  I have wondered whether it is prudent of me to present a poem about Arnold diffusion, a topic about which I have scant mathematical background.  But I like it, even though my understanding is incomplete; I hope you like it too.

       Arnold diffusion     by Florin Diacu

       Slow chaos,
       chain of good-bye embraces
       among exchanging dancers
       unwilling to depart.

       Oases of quiet
       are sprinkled in the pockets,
       vent of assurance that
       stable motion thrives.

       The asteroids play the game.
       Ousted by resonance,
       some have retreated,
       carving Kirkwood gaps behind.
       Others will spin along the tori,
       until the Sun burns their breath.

       Only a few will slide on whiskers
       to fade, eventually, into the dark,
       shy and uneasy,
       like unspoken afterthoughts.

Two more of Diacu's poems also may be found -- explore with a search using  the poet's name -- here in in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.

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