ProofWiki:Jokes/Mathematicians' Party

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The Mathematicians' Party

Once upon a time, all the mathematicians who had ever lived attended a great big party, in order to let their hair down and enjoy themselves for once.

Plenty of physicists attended, and quite a few chemists and biologists came too.

Our roving reporter was at the door, and these are some of the things he observed ...

  • Archimedes was found floating naked in the bath. He later agreed that, on balance, he'd screwed up. He was an early leaver.
  • Kurt Gödel was denied entry because he couldn’t prove that he was invited.
  • Aristotle definitely was there, or wasn't. But not both.
  • On the other hand, just because it was possible to prove that Bertus Brouwer did not attend, that does not mean he wasn't actually there.
  • Nobody knew whether Erwin Schrödinger was there or not, until someone checked, at which point he collapsed.
  • Hamilton went into every room once only, trying to find Euler, who passed through every door exactly once trying to find Hamilton.
  • Fermat claimed he would attend, then died. He was going to send his acceptance on the actual invitation itself, but the margin was too narrow.
  • Georg Cantor wasn't on the guest list (I can't count how many times that's happened).
  • Frank Ramsey spent much time socializing with a group of mutual friends or a group of mutual strangers.
  • Newton started up a fight with Leibniz regarding who arrived first.
  • Paul Erdős shook hands with everyone who shook hands with someone who shook hands with him — including himself.
  • Vilfredo Pareto observed that $80\%$ of the food was being eaten by $20\%$ of the guests.
  • Nicolas Bourbaki spent so long arguing over exactly how the party was to be defined that it had ended before he got there.
  • An alternative party was thrown by Bertrand Russell. He sent invitations to everyone who hadn't sent themselves an invitation to an alternative party.
  • Alexander Grothendieck was considering an isomorphism between two party spaces when his friend suggested that they attend a party. "You mean an actual party?" he replied.
  • "Here, take a chair at the table, drink some beer with us," said a mathematician. "Why would I take a line at the point and drink planes?" replied David Hilbert.
  • "When will the party end?" someone asked the host. "No one can know," replied Alan Turing.
  • Albert Einstein took some other partygoers on a joyride in his new space craft, which travelled at half the speed of light. But when they returned, the party was over.

Many, many other mathematicians and physicists were there. Please tell any stories about them that you know.