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Other How to use my physics knowledge to help this world?

  1. Sep 11, 2016 #1
    Hello, every one! I'm 26 now. I majored in Chemical Engineering and graduated from National Taiwan University. Then I applied college again (major in physics now) to fulfill my dream ---- be a philosopher of physics. Now, I'm senior. I've studied the quantum Physics, thermal physics, classical mechanics, applied math and etc.

    However, the more knowledge I have, the more frustrated I am. I got A+ in every required undergraduate class. But when I realized the difficulties of being a philosopher of physicist or even theoretical physicist, I started to think about changing my career plan.

    In addition to being a physicist, I also want to be a philosopher of ethics because I want to know if there is absolute moral maxim in this world. If I find it, then maybe I can do something good and make this world a better place. (I know it is very ridiculous, but that is what I really want.. ) Or, I want to be a novelist like Ayn Rand, and Albert Camus. I'd like to write books to improve this world.

    Here is the thing. What kind of things I can do to help people with my physics knowledge?

    I do think about being an engineer. But, I always doubt that if technology really makes this world a better place. My current answer is "no".

    I always ask myself: What kind of technology do we "really" need?

    I don't know.

    Maybe I can help poor people with my physics knowledge? But how? Is it possible?
    Join Bill Gate's foundation?

    Sorry for my poor english. I just need someone to give me some advice.

    Thanks in advance...
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2016 #2

    Fervent Freyja

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    Eradicate the tsetse fly from Africa without using chemicals harmful to humans. In doing so, you will allow hundreds of millions of people to take care of themselves. The fly prevents them from farming (infects the livestock and farming animals), although the land is very fertile. Also, 500,000,000 people in that country don't have access to clean water because of the fly. It also causes disease in humans.

    Chemicals have been used to totally eradicate insects from regions in the past, but it does not work in this case. There have been many control attempts that have had limited success, such as releasing sterilized males back into the region.These flies are attracted to very specific visual wavelengths from miles away and can be trapped using scent as well (acetone and cows blood found to be effective). In addition, attracting with sound may be possible. They are very difficult to kill and also sterilizing the parasite in a dead tsetse requires high temperatures. I think there are still many attempts being made at total eradication, but it seems to me that it hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. The technology to do so certainly already exists, there is simply little incentive for people to tackle the problem. It will have an effect on the ecosystem and nutrient cycling, but the situation is dire here and humans should come first. Use your engineering degree to build cheap, one-man operating multi-component traps that call them in from miles away, then incinerate the little bastards by the millions. Writing or reading books won't help these people with their problem.
  4. Sep 11, 2016 #3
    Thanks a lot!! It really helps!
  5. Sep 11, 2016 #4

    Fervent Freyja

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    Gold Member

    Well, are you gonna try to do it or not, even if people never know your name?

    There may be some opportunities doing research at your university, they are exploring different methods of insect control and may welcome a chemical engineer, that also wants to do mechanical engineering (I assume both):
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