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What ignited your spark?

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- Thread starter Bobman
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What ignited your spark?

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Watching PBS's Nova in the mid 90s with my dad.

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bhobba

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Still am amazed though at the power of complex numbers and the power they have in very weird ways in applications to physics. The 1+2+3+4+5...... = -1/12 counter intuitive and strange result is actually from analytic continuation which you can only do in the complex plane - but is needed for the usual explanation of the Casmir Force - I say usual because it's not really correct, but it is the usual explanation and gives the right answer.

Thanks

Bill

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Matterwave

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Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time

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George Jones

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On Physics Forums, I see a lot of bashing of popular-level physics shows and print material, but, without this popular-level stuff (as well as good high school teachers), I would not be doing what I am doing.

Form grade 10 I have been wresting with

pure maths ... theoretical physics ... pure maths ... theoretical physics .. Which ???

Of course, at the level of grad courses, they can be combined, e.g., the grad-level (for both maths and physics) in books like

"Quantum Theory for Mathematicians" by Brian Hall,

"Quantum Field Theory for Mathematicians" by Gerald Folland,

"Mathematical Gauge Theory With Applications to the Standard Model of Theoretical Physics" by Mark Hamilton.

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davenn

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Watching PBS's Nova in the mid 90s with my dad.

ohhhh such a youngin haha

in the mid - late 60's I got interested in the various space programs … by collecting the cards from various breakfast cereal packets

( sadly, something young kids don't get exposed to over the last 20 yrs or so). Watching the moon landing on the old B&W TV

Solar max of 1970 was when mom and dad introduced me to the aurora and I could lie in bed look out into the dark and watch the auroral lights dance across the night sky.

At around the same time I was getting into bulbs, batteries and such. The beginnings of my electronics working life.

In the early '70's, my astronomy interest bloomed with the saving up and purchasing of the first telescopes.

Rock and mineral collecting also started around the same time. Then in 1974 I experienced a nearby M5.0 earthquake and

that was the start of my deep interest in seismology

Dave

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Astronuc

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I did various kinds of experiments from the H&W Wonder books and playing with electronics kits, a microscope, and magnifying glass. By 5th grade, I started reading articles on atoms and particles, and in 6th grade, I designed an nuclear power aircraft. From 7th grade on I took every math and science course I could.

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davenn

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I was always interested in Electronics, like building crystal sets etc and really was astonished in my young days how math explained these electrical circuits that did these strange things like tuning is a radio station.

Cool , that was something from my youth as well... '68 onwards. My dad had no understanding of electronics ( a farmer most of his life)

But my grandad (mom's side) did and on may of the school Christmas holidays I stayed there, he always encouraged and helped me

with the building of crystal sets and the like. There were several multi kW Am stations with several kilometres of his place that had coverage

over the Dunedin City region, NZ. so there was no lack of signal to pick up... the problem was more the stations overpowering each other

when received by a basic crystal radio

Wonderful memories of a time when life was much simpler

Dave

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bhobba

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Cool , that was something from my youth as well... '68 onwards. My dad had no understanding of electronics ( a farmer most of his life)

My father was an electrical engineer, not electronic, working on high tension power lines. I read his textbooks (very old) explaining this stuff and IMHO their explanations were atrocious. I asked Dad but he had forgotten a lot - he moved on years before to be an electrical estimator so he wasn't much help. But on the math side heard of this thing called calculus and taught it to myself about 14 - what can I say the math I was being taught at school bored the hell out of me. The book I learned it from also explained complex numbers and Euler's relation. Well I knew the the current that went through a capacitor was proportional to the differential of the voltage, with the constant of proportionality being the capacitance. So I differentiated Ce^ix and low and behold you saw immediately the 90% phase shift because you now had an i in from of it. I was astonished. Told Dad and he said - that's not the way he was taught - but he too was amazed at its simplicity - I am still amazed to this day. Got a book on electrical circuit theory to lean it even better, but started having trouble with how transistors worked and their circuits - it took me a while to understand to take the equations liberally - the current through the base and emitter determines the current thought the collector to emitter. Put a resistor on the collector and low and behold by ohms law the voltage varies with the current going going from base to emitter - it took me a year or two to cotton on to that and I read all the electronics magazines - but again to me they didn't explain it well.

Thanks

Bill

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pinball1970

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