Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Insights Interview with a Theoretical Physicist: Garrett Lisi - Comments

  1. Mar 12, 2016 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2016 #2
    "Tell us a little bit about growing up in San Diego"

    I have a pretty similar history of the surf sport as Garrett according to this post. I grew up in Ventura in the late 70's and in middle school got turned on to surfing where I surfed mostly at this place called "surfer's point" which was down by the Ventura pier. I then went to high school in Hawaii (Oahu) where I surfed pretty much every break on the Island at one time or another. I also surfed breaks on the Big island during a family vacation and on Kauai when I was picked to represent my HS in the state golf championship. Later on after HS I surfed a few breaks on a trip to Maui I took but the surf wasn't so great that week. I spent most of the time in Lahaina bars working on my bar tan.

    After HS I went to undergraduate school at UCSB in Santa Barbara. I'm sure Garret is familiar with "campus point" right there by the lagoon on campus and, of course Rincon just a ways south. Also, off the campus of UCSB is a shore break called "sands" beach which is typically a close-out but if the swell is right it can be righteous, dude.

    Finally, I also lived in San Diego down by the pier in Ocean beach during the mid-90's for a while while I was finishing up a degree at SDSU. So I'm also familiar with most of the breaks in the San Diego area as well as many in Baja on a few trips we took down there in the 80's where we usually got extorted by the Federalies. And that was back when it was calm in Mexico! I'm sure Garrett is familiar with many of the breaks I'm referring to here.

    Has your pursuit of adventure sports influenced how you approach physics (vice-versa)?

    While Garrett was probably struggling with understanding the wave functions of quantum mechanics, I was struggling with understanding the wave dynamics of chaotic oscillations in the neocortex as they related to behavior and cognition in mammals. I always thought that my experienced with surfing, especially in my formative years when I was building primary neuro-repertoires REALLY helped me in this pursuit. Sitting out in the surf for hours upon hours a day (sometimes 8 hours or more), which I used to do in high school, you really get built into your biology the kinesthetic and proprioceptic sense of wave dynamics built into your neural assemblies, which I believe affect the efficacy as to how well you can understand wave dynamics intuitively.

    For example, at many breaks you don't just run into the surf from the sandbar, you have to have to stand at the edge of a cliff and wait for a wave to come in and time it perfectly in order to not get killed. Even if you did time it right you typically got caught in a major cross-current where you really got the message of what a standing wave felt like. You can also get this effect off of a steep sandbar but it's not really the same as when you get caught in a cove on a big surf day. In the cove you're being hit from multiple sides at once, and I truly think that gave me an advanced intuitive sense of how standing wave dynamics work over someone that didn't surf.
  4. Mar 14, 2016 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Garrett looks like Vin Diesel in that pic!

    Nice interview.
  5. Mar 15, 2016 #4
    I have yet get to Hawaii, but when I do, I'm heading straight for PCI!
  6. Mar 17, 2016 #5
    Nice header logo for the article! It makes use of my artwork based on a (slightly) modified Lisi model for particle assignments within E8. I too use it as a header image for my online presence. http://theoryofeverything.org/theToE/
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted