For those of you who enjoyed my fascinating discussion of the 2008 Review of Particle Physics, you will be happy to know that the small-booklet summary of the review has now arrived. Remember that this used to be known as the “wallet card,” because you could in fact fold it up and fit it into your wallet. The current version is nearly 300 pages, so that would be a little more difficult now.
But here was a little surprise:
This year’s booklet (left) is spiral-bound, whereas previous versions (e.g. 2006, center) have been perfect-bound. It is also in a larger format, which makes it possible to have fewer pages than the last booklet, even though I would guess that there is more content. I wonder what pushed the PDG in this direction. I would have thought fewer pages (of larger surface area) would make it easier to perfect-bind a book, yet now we have a spiral. (Seth, if you are visiting Berkeley, maybe you can track this one down!)
The big question for me, then, is what will become of the “Pocket Diary for Physicists” (right), which serves as a calendar (including birth dates of all-time great physicists) and telephone index. It’s the same size as the old booklet, making it possible to fit them both into a little plastic cover that the PDG provided (also shown in photo). Will that get larger too? Will there be new plastic covers?
I know, pressing questions that will affect the fate of the universe. But look, it was either write about that or about getting ready to teach one of the big sections of introductory electricity and magnetism starting tomorrow. You might be getting an earful about that from me for the next four months.