Thursday, October 13, 2005

h-index and Sir Arthur Adding-one!

Remember this post about the h-index? There is a letter in the latest issue of Nature which claims that the idea of such an index can be traced to Sir Arthur Eddington. The name of Eddington reminded me of this Eddington story: Apparently, Eddington thought that the fine structure constant was 1/136 and gave a numerological explanation as to why the number is 136. Later, more accurate measurements showed this to be 1/137. Eddington came up with the modified explanation as to why it should only be 137, which earned him the name "Sir Arthur Adding-one" from Punch.

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