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Physics How did you get interested in physics

  1. May 14, 2012 #1
    What was it that sparked your interest in physics. Just curious.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2012 #2
    By asking questions about how or why things worked/happened as a child and being told "because it just does", which was never enough for me. I want to know how it all works to the last detail!
  4. May 14, 2012 #3


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    I only majored in physics (and then got a PhD in it) to do astrophysics, but now I realize the physics part of it interests me more. However, I never would have gone into it just for the physics.
  5. May 15, 2012 #4


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    It's a feeling most of us have, the problem is as you get more matured and more expert you understand that there are stuff that you need to believe them as true, cause Human knowledge is huge and you can't hopefully work it all to the last detail.

    In other words, you should find your niche.
  6. May 15, 2012 #5
    when I did research in materials and realize that I couldn't solve problems regarding an instrument due to noise (EM), couldn't calculate the stress and strain on the sample (classical mechanics), couldn't explain the electronic properties (quantum) and couldn't predict thermal stability (stat phys)... I got interested in physics.

    physics is useful. if it wasn't, i wouldn't be interested.
  7. May 15, 2012 #6


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    indeed, curiosity.
  8. May 15, 2012 #7
    And that is the very reason I pushed myself to learn so much as a child. Maths never came easy to me but Shakespeare was childsplay, and that fact drove me mad! Thankfully "it is what it is" became slightly more palatable as an explanation as I got older . . . . . . . I still like to try and figure it all out however :)
  9. May 19, 2012 #8
    Warning: Some romanticism are in the following.

    Hmm, I've watched a few documentaries here and there of astronomy/physics on the science channel when I was yong. I sort of liked it. But that wasn't what had me hooked onto physics (I've always thought it was a bunch of speculated horse---- anyways. I had no idea how they can claim some things) For one reason or another that I don't remember, I took physics in high school... I fell in love. (Shh, its our secret love affair :!!) ). Though at times it was a love-hate relationship, since not paying attention to math or school in general throughout most of my life made my studies much harder.

    What made me start really liking physics was when I noticed its baffling prowess over describing the natural world. I remember sitting in class amazed at how physics can describe a ball's position or velocity at any point of time!! It was sort of an omnipresent power that we attained through mathematics.

    And that's part of the reason I'm still interested in physics and mathematics. I sort of feel that it transcends us into a higher conscious awareness. And sometimes I feel that we are playing god with our baffling ability. It feels like one is surpassing the average man's awareness of the world around them-- and to me its analogous to a state of higher consciousness.

    I wrote this the other day:

    --- In mathematics, we create a dazzling platonic world of n dimensions, each dimension representing a variable (which in turn represents some sort of phenomena/thing in existence). Within these dimensions, we have a God-like intelligence, both omnipotent and all-knowing (to some extent). And within the walls of these dimensions, we can accurately describe the relationship between any variable. Beautiful. ---

    This was about functions, explicit or implicit. So as you see, the motivation behind my interest in physics and mathematics has a philosophical grounding as well.

    Without getting too off-topic, one of the things that got me interested in physics is some of the biggest questions of all time involving space, time, matter, and energy.

    Physics to me is much much more than just solving problems, it has to do with the nature of nature. And it is just so beautiful. What makes things work, how do things work, why do things work the way they work? To tackle the aforementioned with mathematics is exhilarating.
  10. May 19, 2012 #9

    I wrote this the other day:

    --- In mathematics, we create a dazzling platonic world of n dimensions, each dimension representing a variable (which in turn represents some sort of phenomena/thing in existence). Within these dimensions, we have a God-like intelligence, both omnipotent and all-knowing (to some extent). And within the walls of these dimensions, we can accurately describe the relationship between any variable. Beautiful. ---


    Love this quote :)
  11. May 19, 2012 #10
    It is loosely written, because there can be a lot of ambiguity even within the mathematics. But that is what makes it even more interesting! I think though, and I'm biased since I think that nature should ultimately be run by simple laws, that when there is ambiguity in physics--there is a piece missing in the puzzle.

    It is all rather philosophical, and I can keep going off at a tangent so I will stop it here to stay within the original topic at hand. :devil:
  12. May 20, 2012 #11
    I think this is a fairly interesting topic. It is interesting to know how other people got interested [eww pun].

    Why is this topic dying out so quickly? I want to see other perspectives.
  13. May 20, 2012 #12
    I simply wondered, dreamed, and was curious about the world. I was young and impressionable and I liked physics because it seemed like the most applicable science. I could equate physics to hitting things, chemistry to blowing things up, and engineering to building. As a teenage boy, those were very appealing things to do for the rest of my life (I wanted to major in all three). Then my curiosity got the better of me and I am currently very interested in physics because I believe that, in theory, it is the answer to all problems in the world and universe. I make some wild theories on how, and how the universe works, but without a knowledge of college level physics and calculus, they are just crazy theories. So, that will be my first step. After that, I am off and running with it.
  14. May 20, 2012 #13
    Haha, I did the same thing. And its fine in the beginning because it just shows that your curious and willing to work on unsolved problems. You will probably find though in the future that they were really silly.

    I remember when I first tackled college level physics and calculus. It is a pretty exciting time because it is the first time you actually get your hands a little dirty on some of the foundations. You should know that there will always be times of grind and times that aren't so motivated, but always keep in the back of your head the very reason why you started your study: curiosity. Later on you might be able to work on your own problems, which is much more exciting if you ask me. Stay persistent, the beginning is always the toughest. At least it was for me due to a lack of good foundation.
  15. May 20, 2012 #14
    I really have passion on Musics and Physics.
    Both I'm not talented in.
    I guess my CPU not fast enough and my HardDisk is not big enough to store memories.
    I could play a song on piano from a music score and could not remember the next day even on previous day i could play off the score.
    But I'm still learning.

    Physics too.
    I was drop-out. Couldn't manage to with so many things to remember. Classical physics, thermodynamics, electronics., calculus, linear algebra...........

    Now i'm retired but physics still in my heart.
    Self learning now.
    My goal is just hoping that i can solve all problems(in 3000 Solved problem in Physics- Schaum's Series) without much difficulties.

    But the best of all is finding this web, where i can judge my understanding of the principles of physics with the help around. Thank you physicsforums.
  16. May 21, 2012 #15
    I asked a million questions when I was little, and the answers that used science fascinated me the most. I always checked out non-fiction books in the elementary school library, and the Issac Asimov astronomy series with big pictures of beautiful planets really got me into it.

    Then I went to school for EE because I thought I'd have better luck making money going that way. I almost quit because of lack of interest, and then one summer break I read a lot of physics books and immediately got interested again. I started my first job in EE and realized how much I don't know about the physics processes behind a lot of the abstract things we studied in EE. So now I'm always trying to improve and expand my physics knowledge since it is both fascinating and useful for my job. Its one of the most difficult things for me, so its why I am so interested in learning it and its always a work in progress for me.
  17. May 26, 2012 #16
    I like physics because I look at all the problems as a challenge or a puzzle which needs to be solved using certain tools (laws, etc.).

    My interest in physics was increased when I learned about biophysics which is a fascinating emerging field studying things like interaction of proteins on a molecular level using physics.

    I am a science graduate so I do have some knowledge of physics but it was not my major. Sometimes I wonder if I should have majored in physics. I think mainly I didn't because at the time I thought it was 'too hard'....
  18. Jun 2, 2012 #17
    Thanks for your replies everyone, very interesting :)
  19. Jun 4, 2012 #18
    Interest in any subjects is all depend upon students, if the students feel comfortable and easy to understand then only they for that subjects.
  20. Jun 4, 2012 #19
    I was inspired by my high-school teacher!
  21. Jun 4, 2012 #20
    For me it was a long and indirect path. I'm 30 and just started university this year to major in physics (took a little work to get my math skills back after 12 years of nothing more than Pythagoras).

    When I was a kid I loved math and science, I had to write one page reports in grade 4 and 5, so my topics were black holes (still theoretical at the time) and paleontology (I wrote to Drumheller and they didn't know I was a kid so I ended up with a fist full of technical data...that I tried in vain to comb through). But I was also interested in the creative side of life, and loved fantasy and science fiction novels. So I started attempting to write stories when I was in grade 5.

    Unfortunately this was also the time my parents divorced, which was better in the long run, but I don't think I handled it well. It took me many many years face my emotions and even longer to learn to accept them. Through this time I lost interest in learning, I had only 2 teachers through the rest of school who could keep me engaged in learning (both were math teachers and actually strove to challenge me). So the next about 15 years of my life were about trying to heal through the use of writing stories, poetry and music.

    It was only about 4 or 5 years ago that rediscovered the joy of scientific knowledge (not to discount the arts, I find them very important to being human). It slowly reached an apex, starting with space documentaries, to wikipedia, The Teaching Company lectures, and finally with a combination of Walter Lewin's FANTASTIC MIT lectures and Richard Feynman's lectures.

    Unfortunately, it also came with another life shock that forced me to re-evaluate my life and decide to choose a different path to follow.

    So, I've always loved physics, but I had to deal with a lot of emotional damage from school first before I could concentrate on learning. It's not always a direct path, but that's ok, I learned valuable lessons and now am extremely excited to be on this path.

    Nuclear Physics here I come!
  22. Jun 11, 2012 #21
    What really got me into physics is the addiction of having to know how the universe runs. I've always believed everything could be solved with a specific formula or equation, as i began to learn about the universe, i wanted do understand how it functions, why some things happen while others don't, how it all came to be, whats it made of and was their a creator (btw, physics made me deist so anyone who says science is against a higher power, [god] better think again:approve:).
    The only bad part is, you don't actually even get a chance to learn these in physics as almost no-one will pay you for you it research it. :grumpy:
  23. Jun 11, 2012 #22
    Hard to pin-point when or where exactly. I do know that my grandparents always used to buy me books that were far too advanced for me. I remember reading a book on atoms and John Dalton when I was 5 and looking at all the pictures. I used to open up the VCR, watch my dad do some basic electrical repair. Saw my grand-dad replacing old vacuum tubes in an ancient Garrard's jukebox, it was just fascinating at the time. Still is.
  24. Jun 12, 2012 #23
    When i was a student i was not much good in physics and reason because its seems to be boring but when i got chance to teach students, it seems very interesting for me and then again i worked ward and i study physics and make my-self some how better in physics so that i can give better education to the studetns.
  25. Jun 12, 2012 #24
    I became interested in physics (biology) once I was introduced about the origins of life on earth. I was first hooked up with amazing string search and compare applications. I then started to steer myself towards computational molecular biology. I took classes in college's chemistry (for 2-3 year students), basic courses in genetics and bio-environment. I also once worked on human immune system and its related maths models. It was boring, but did offer me a lot of chances to learn basic stuff about our HIS and its fights against diseases. I later joined and worked really hard on graduate courses in graph theories before I walked straight out of the school for some personal reasons.
  26. Jun 12, 2012 #25
    I'm a bit interested to know how you ended up having to teach physics being bored of it and "not much good" at it?
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