Sunday, February 22, 2009


So I'm wandering through my favorite liberal elitist grocery store, helping a friend of mine with a perennial search for unscented organic grass-fed free-range shampoo, and I run the above bottle, with an actual scientific-type equation on it, and two things immediately jump out at me. (a) It's almost certainly irrelevant to the shampoo. The equation in question is an expression for the energy of a particle with a magnetic moment mu in a magnetic of strength B. It's a dot product, and it's negative, because the energy is minimized when the magnetic moment and the magnetic field are aligned, which is when the dot product itself is maximized. (b) It's trademarked. Now, I'm not an expert in trademark law by any means, but this equation, in this form, with this notation (and even in this nice, seriffic font) appears in textbooks and scientific papers and who knows where else, millions of times over. It's a pre-diluted trademark. Maybe it's pre-diluted shampoo, too, though I suppose that's unlikely.
We didn't buy it.