Do Physicists drink?

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  • #51
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I would guess that it's just random. But you never know, the alcohol might even be more attracted to more active synapses.
Alcohol damages the brain in a several different ways:

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm

The worst is the permanent memory damage caused by thiamine deficiency in long term, heavy drinkers. Wernicke–Korsakoff Syndrome is outright debilitating, and its sufferers have to be institutionalized.

If you google "alcohol brain cells" or "alcohol brain damage" you'll find all aspects of alcohol's effect on the brain are constantly being studied and it's not random.


Brain cell damage aside, it should be obvious to anyone who has ever been even slightly drunk that the slowed, sloppy, emotional thinking that results is counter productive to a rigorous mental activity like physics. The hangovers are equally counterproductive. Had Feynman not put the brakes on his increasing temptation to spend his time drinking he might very well have stalled his carrear, or have sent it into a descending spiral ending in a crash.
 
  • #52
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When I started reading this thread I thought for sure it would be a fun, goofy little thread. But the amount of anti-alcohol talk is quite alarming! I am truly surprised. Well I would have been much more surprised before I moved to the south anyways.

As a physicist I think I need to give our overwhelming stance on alcohol: we like it.




Ok, all kidding aside, I enjoy certain types of alcohol a lot. I would much prefer a beer over a soda with food- the overly sugary-ness of soda just ruins food in my opinion. And I would much rather have a beer than plain old water. I have a list of beers that I find to be excellent additions to a meal and makes for an enjoyable evening chatting with my friends and/or family.

I also have a half dozen or so whiskeys that I absolutely adore partaking in- they are typically quite expensive so over-indulgence is unlikely.

I had a good friend in grad school who was slightly older than me. His statement on physics and drinking was this: "Going to grad school in physics is about drinking." This wasn't always true for me, but I often went out with the other grad students on Friday nights for dinner and a couple beers. When I took my 2nd semester of quantum, 2 friends and I spent all our study sessions for the final in the bar having a beer or two over the course of an afternoon.

But then again, I probably have a skewed sense of all things alcohol- I grew up in http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/31237904.html" [Broken] and my family owned a tavern.
 
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  • #53
DrClapeyron
I don't worry about brain damage when I drink as much as I do worry about liver damage.
 
  • #54
BobG
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I don't worry about brain damage when I drink as much as I do worry about liver damage.
I was about to reply that a liver isn't as important to a physicist as a brain, but it turns out liver disease can damage the brain, as well. :frown:
 
  • #55
BobG
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You can't just go applying that logic willy-nilly to any situation. Alcohol is not a conscious predator, and your brain cells aren't running anywhere that would make the stronger ones "escape" the alcohol. I would guess that it's just random. But you never know, the alcohol might even be more attracted to more active synapses.
Then how do you explain the spinning room sensation that acohol gives you? And does the room spin the same direction when you're drunk in the Northern hemisphere as when you're drunk in the Southern hemisphere? And does the room spinning cause the Earth's spin to speed up or slow down due to conservation of momentum?

(Silliness aside, here's one popular theory on why the room spins: Room Spins when Drunk)
 
  • #56
diazona
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Then how do you explain the spinning room sensation that acohol gives you? And does the room spin the same direction when you're drunk in the Northern hemisphere as when you're drunk in the Southern hemisphere? And does the room spinning cause the Earth's spin to speed up or slow down due to conservation of momentum?
That could be an Ig Nobel prize in the works :biggrin:
 
  • #57
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I was about to reply that a liver isn't as important to a physicist as a brain, but it turns out liver disease can damage the brain, as well. :frown:

Fact is if you've pickled your liver, not being able to do some physics is the least of your worries. A liver is needed for survival, intelligence isn't.
 
  • #58
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You've got to have a drink every now and then. Who doesn't love catching an edge and dancing? It is the only way i'll start to dance. *cough*prom*cough*

And all the physicists at the LHC drink regularly it seems like from the pictures they post up at their parties!
 
  • #59
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You've got to have a drink every now and then.
Or else what?
 
  • #61
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Or else what?
Or else you will be a lonely soul with no friends.:rolleyes:
 
  • #62
diazona
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Or else you will be a lonely soul with no friends.:rolleyes:
I'm already a lonely soul with no friends - I'm in grad school :tongue2: Nothing to lose here.
 
  • #63
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There has been many a drunken occasion where I declared that my 3 favorite things in life are math, physics, and booze. Maybe it's not entirely true (I have a lot of "favorite things"), but I am certainly pro-drinking.
 
  • #64
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It seems to me like people are making a distinction between drinking and abstinence. There is alot of difference in what one means by drinking. Many people I know drink at nearly every social occasion. Personally, I drink perhaps once or twice a month. I think amount of alcohol consumption would be significant in terms of things lik long term effects and IQ.
 
  • #65
DrClapeyron
As long as you are not a perpetual drunk, which is different than being a perpetual drinker, and you do not resort to alcohol poisoning and liver disease you will be just fine.

Beers: Blue Moon, Saint Arnold's Ale, Guiness, Ziegen Bock, Shiner Bock, and Santa Fe Nut Brown Ale.
Whiskeys: Wild Turkey 101, Jameson, Knob Creek, and Wathen's.
Gin: Tanqueray and Bombay Saphire.

Enjoy!
 
  • #66
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In addition to my academic life, I'm also a musician. And hey, we all know drinking is a requisite for that. Ha.

I have recently rekindled my love affair with Johnnie Walker Black. In my opinion, it's the best bang-for-your-buck scotch on the market. I also second the recommendation of Knob Creek given above. It's like liquid brown sugar.

I've also been drinking a lot of white ales lately. I don't know why, I usually don't like the spices in them. Wasatch While Label White Ale is absolutely fantastic.

I'm cool with people who don't like boose, it's their right. Or, I should say, I'm cool with them unless they're preachy. That judgmental, pointed-finger, holier-than-thou trip gets really old.
 
  • #67
Pythagorean
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In addition to my academic life, I'm also a musician. And hey, we all know drinking is a requisite for that. Ha.
I thought it was hallucinogens?
 
  • #68
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Nah, not for me. I was the guy who had to babysit the people on bad trips.
 
  • #69
cronxeh
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As long as you are not a perpetual drunk, which is different than being a perpetual drinker, and you do not resort to alcohol poisoning and liver disease you will be just fine.

Beers: Blue Moon, Saint Arnold's Ale, Guiness, Ziegen Bock, Shiner Bock, and Santa Fe Nut Brown Ale.
Whiskeys: Wild Turkey 101, Jameson, Knob Creek, and Wathen's.
Gin: Tanqueray and Bombay Saphire.

Enjoy!
Great philosophy, great choice of drinks.

Pythagorean said:
I thought it was hallucinogens?
Nothing wrong with some Salvia here and there, not that I've done any in years.. I believe it is still legal.. If not, some morning glory seeds and a good schnapps to chug it down :biggrin:

For kids reading this.. just say no to drugs, mmkay
 
  • #70
vanesch
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In this thread, I think the meaning of "to drink" is a whole spectrum, from "not entirely avoiding a glass of an alcoholic drink" to "being drunk each day from morning to evening". Clearly, the last behavior (and even less extreme behavior) is obviously bad for your mental and physical health, there's no doubt about that. As to much more moderate use of alcohol, probably it does have some negative effect, but that's a joy/risk analysis that is open to discussion.

Personally, I do drink sometimes a glass or two of beer or wine, with some friends, or with a dinner, and very rarely (a few times a year) somewhat more on some special occasions. I used to drink more when I was a student, that's true (as there were more occasions, and others did so too). I've had a few bad years of "beer and chips in front of the TV set" but I got rid of that. Although I like good beer and good wine for their taste, and I do like the somewhat "relaxing" effect of the first few drinks, I hate the feeling of "drifting away and loosing control" (getting drunk).
I don't drink strong alcohol, except for a very occasional glass of whiskey of which I like the taste.

I've been around some heavy drinkers (seriously suffering from alcoholism) and it is such a pathetic sight that it is, I think, a good reminder of staying far from the "red line".
 
  • #71
Pythagorean
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In this thread, I think the meaning of "to drink" is a whole spectrum, from "not entirely avoiding a glass of an alcoholic drink" to "being drunk each day from morning to evening". Clearly, the last behavior (and even less extreme behavior) is obviously bad for your mental and physical health, there's no doubt about that. As to much more moderate use of alcohol, probably it does have some negative effect, but that's a joy/risk analysis that is open to discussion.

Personally, I do drink sometimes a glass or two of beer or wine, with some friends, or with a dinner, and very rarely (a few times a year) somewhat more on some special occasions. I used to drink more when I was a student, that's true (as there were more occasions, and others did so too). I've had a few bad years of "beer and chips in front of the TV set" but I got rid of that. Although I like good beer and good wine for their taste, and I do like the somewhat "relaxing" effect of the first few drinks, I hate the feeling of "drifting away and loosing control" (getting drunk).
I don't drink strong alcohol, except for a very occasional glass of whiskey of which I like the taste.

I've been around some heavy drinkers (seriously suffering from alcoholism) and it is such a pathetic sight that it is, I think, a good reminder of staying far from the "red line".
Yeah, I always say "I don't drink" but it's not like I won't have a beer or two when I feel like it. What I mean is I don't go out and get drunk for social events, I just like to enjoy a beer and relax occasionally.
 
  • #72
~christina~
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I don't want to drink,though I can drink much beer.I agree with Oddbio,I am afraid of damaging my brain.And I have a question why so much people like drinking alcohol?It really tastes bad,and it is not sweet.
Rice wine/ sake is sweet tasting. (the one I drank) It didn't taste strong so I drank 2 shots. It was amusing to find out that I couldn't walk straight later on. :uhh:

But other than that, I don't like the general taste of alcohol either. I sniffed some champagne at a wedding once and It wasn't pleasant. Rum is just foul tasting in my opinion. (no, the other ingredients in a pina colada do not cover the taste)
 
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