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Do physics make you depressed?

  1. Feb 13, 2009 #1
    Whenever I try getting into physics, I get depressed because of all the theories about the end of the universe. Stuff like entropy, ekpyrotic universe (where the universe can end any second), proton decay, etc. Sure, they might be a lonnnnng way off, but it's still inevitable which makes every thing right now seem so pointless because there's not even gonna be a single atom of trace that we even existed, like there isn't for possibly an infinite amount of civilizations in past universes that existed. It's just a pointless cycle.

    And then there's always the thought that you'll NEVER find the answers you're looking for when researching physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2009 #2
    Your thinking too much, stop and enjoy life! Get out of the book and enjoy some of the physics principles, ride a roller coaster.

    Nothing like doing parabola's(zero g) maneuvers in a Cessna!

    Remember some(many) of the Physics models are only models and may not reflect the actual reality.

    Sounds like some of your dilemma is spirtual in natrure. (Not really about Physics)

    I keep my religion and science separate. I try not to let one influence the other.

    Hang in there, the world can be your oyster!
  4. Feb 13, 2009 #3
    I don't want false hope...and as I said I barely know anything about physics (don't even know what a cessna is) because I'm just getting into it and was just reading wikipedia and saw a documentary (The Elegant Universe).
  5. Feb 13, 2009 #4
    We each take our own path, Cessna I was refering to is a small single engine airplane, I would take friends flying. At the top of a parabola, you can get into a (pseudo)"zero g" or freefall condition, where you can float right out of your seat.

    I would take a ball along, that I took from the "Chuck E. Cheese" ball crawl, I would float it around the cabin. A good time was had by all.

    Lots of fun/neat things related to physics.

    Hang in there, the universe wont end tomorrow, I promise.
  6. Feb 13, 2009 #5
    Try reading my first post, I said I don't care what the time frame of when it will is.
  7. Feb 13, 2009 #6
    That's strange! Physics makes me more and more optimistic!

    I am but a youngster that proceeds really fast to knowing more and more about physics and math (mostly the math first and Physics afterwards). Yet my view on physics is that it is the key to advancing!

    Think about it. When you've taken Physics on a whole new level, you are able to think of ways to understand how the universe works, what makes the universe and other somewhat philosophical questions. That alone intrigues me, and takes every possibly-false fear out of me, helping me to go on!

    That combined with the fact that most of these 'theories" are like dividing physics by zero, meaning that they are made to scare the crap out of us, and they do sometimes :P, I think is enough to persuade you. Am I right?
  8. Feb 13, 2009 #7
    Physics make me sing, dance, smile and love.
  9. Feb 13, 2009 #8
    You are like Isaac Newton.Apparently, during his lectures, he used to break into a song and dance routine whilst smiling and making love.
  10. Feb 13, 2009 #9
    Right on man.
  11. Feb 13, 2009 #10
    physicists look the way they do because phsyics is so damn depressing...

    <shuts down computer and hides for the weekend...>
  12. Feb 13, 2009 #11
    True,physicists look weird.There is one exception.
  13. Feb 13, 2009 #12
    of course it makes me depressed, there is so much i don't understand,
  14. Feb 13, 2009 #13


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    Just because something ends does not make it pointless.

    Your problem is not with physics, its with your philosophy.

    Also the fact that I will never get all the answers makes me less depressed than if I could. If I had all the answers what would I do with my time? Again, your issue is with philosophy and attitude.
  15. Feb 13, 2009 #14
    Try not to be so condescending when people are trying to answer your questions, first off.

    Secondly, yes the universe is going to end. That is almost certain. And one day you will die, that is also almost certain. So why do anything, since it won't matter after you're dead anyways?

    The answer is to enjoy what you have now! We build things, invent things, and research things so we can know more about the world we live in and potentially make our lives here more comfortable. I research physics so I can know what's going on around me now, tomorrow, next year, or in the next 80 years. Not so I can get depressed about things ending eventually.

    It's a wonderful life. There's more to learn than one person can ever know, more to do than you will ever have time to do. Do only what makes you happy and learn only what you find interesting. That's the secret to happiness.
  16. Feb 13, 2009 #15
    I would suggest you take that attitude and come to the conclusion that if your life truly has no "purpose" that you should just enjoy life and live it to the fullest. You are given the gift of life allowing you to experience all the great things life entails, enjoy.
  17. Feb 13, 2009 #16
    It's odd but all the reasons given by the OP is why I study physics, if you want to study dead subjects why not study Latin? I think what interests me is the fact that many questions are unanswered and I'll probably die not knowing a thousandth of them. I'd rather spend my life researching a subject where everything hasn't been done already personally. Incidentally this might of happened to physics post Newton et al, if there weren't so many nagging doubts.

    "For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life."

    Albert Camus.

    Mildly appropriate I think.
  18. Feb 15, 2009 #17
    Looking at it that way it is most definitely pointless. Everything we've done, are doing, and will do, ultimately, will not matter one bit. But we are all in the same boat and we are stuck here for the foreseeable future. Take time to learn and wonder at what is all around you, for everyone's life is only a tiny speck of a fleeting moment. Identify your talents and passions and employ them to make this world a slightly better place than when you started in it. This will give future generations an improved world in which they may have the opportunity to indulge their curiosities and hopefully further improve the human condition.

    Or you can just get cryogenically frozen when you die and in thousands of years and be revived and uploaded into the intergalactic collective consciousness as it transcends through to the hyperverse to merge with the almighty flying spaghetti monster. Maybe there is a point after all. :eek:
  19. Feb 15, 2009 #18
    I don't think your problem is with physics. Perhaps a serotonin problem, or as suggested with your philosophy and ideologies.

    You have have to remember this is a very big universe. We are only scratching the surface on how and why things work.
    Then we can go off into Quantum Mechanics and things such a M theory. These things are absolutely fascinating along with the future possibilities.

    I'm not quite ready to entertain the thought (at least yet) of throwing in the towel and accept we are going to Hell in a hand basket.
    I think the premise that this will all end is a bit premature yet.

    Think of the consequences if most researchers, scientists, teacher, etc took the attitude. Well! there is no point in doing any more work entropy will only increase anyway.
    If this were the case then there was absolutely not point in us going beyond living in cave's.
    Actually in it's pure form there was not point in going beyond a strand of DNA.

    We are curious animals. Science in all it's disciplines are ours to argue, (as you see here at times) explore, search, contemplate and use to an advantage whether good or bad.

    Please don't dwell on the negativity. You nor I, or anyone else know what the far future (or even the near for that fact) holds, what new theories will emerge, what new mathematical models will produce, what new instrumentation will produce.

    You are on the train for your part of the ride with the rest of us, so sit back and enjoy it.
    Rather than trying to answer questions that can't be answered at this point in time, try to contribute in the trip, that is, if your interested in physics or the sciences in general.

    As for your question, "Do physics make you depressed".
    Absolutely not.

    Don't take this post personal. I do know where you are coming from.
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