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Why do physicists love hiking?

  1. Aug 10, 2011 #1
    Like, seriously. What's the deal? Einstein almost lost his life hiking up a mountain, and almost every physicist I know is obsessed with hiking and is always posting such pictures on Facebook.

    Is it just part of their curiosity for nature, and they sense of awe they get traveling through the wilderness?

    Anyone else noticed this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2011 #2

    lisab

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    Funny you post this now. I'm not what I would call a physicist - I just have a BS - but I'm about to go on a nice backpacking trip to the Olympic Peninsula coast...:smile:
     
  4. Aug 10, 2011 #3

    Ben Niehoff

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    Because we study Nature and we want to be in it.
     
  5. Aug 10, 2011 #4
    Not a physicist either, BS in bio and chemisty, but I've probably have backpacked 300 miles through Isle Royale in Michigan, and a portion of the Appalachians, as well as some other areas in Michigan. Additionally a decent canoe trip through the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota, I think about 60 miles. Close encounter with black bears there. Close encounters with moose on Isle Royale. When I was in scouts, we camped out usually one weekend a month or every other month. Plus one or two weeklong camping events in the summer, white water rafting twice through the New River Gorge National River in North Carolina.

    I've logged a fair number of days in the wilderness.

    Why? I enjoy it.

    Observing nature up close like that gives you insight that you can't get working and living in a city I think.
     
  6. Aug 10, 2011 #5

    f95toli

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    Same reason everyone involved in superconductiviy research like climbing (physicists AND chemists)...
    Nearly everyone, that is, I am a very rare exception:shy:
     
  7. Aug 10, 2011 #6
    Well it's simple and easy enough for out of shape people, and still a good way to get of the lab or from in front of a computer.
     
  8. Aug 10, 2011 #7
    Probably helps with the thinking process. Plus the scenery.
     
  9. Aug 10, 2011 #8
    You do not have to spend your precious time to learn that sport, may be?
     
  10. Aug 10, 2011 #9

    FlexGunship

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    I think it's the dichotomy of our artificially manufactured understandings and their most natural interpretations.

    Who can appreciate a clean floor more than the janitor?
     
  11. Aug 10, 2011 #10
    Because deep down, none of us really believe that raising the altitude of some object (such as our bodies) is actually work, so we have to see for ourselvesa that work = our mass times gravity times the height displacement. Then we have to constantly remind ourselves of this fact.
     
  12. Aug 10, 2011 #11

    Drakkith

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    I assume it is the same reason that I enjoy walking/running around my block for 1-2 hours in the middle of the night sometimes. Good exercise, nice weather, and gives me plenty of time to think while I walk and listen to music. I work 3-11 pm so I am almost always up until 6ish am.
     
  13. Aug 10, 2011 #12
    Definitely because it helps to open up the thinking process and it is more fun to think while walking than to think all in one place..
     
  14. Aug 10, 2011 #13
    No, but they do love to ride bikes.....
     
  15. Aug 11, 2011 #14

    brewnog

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    Why do quantity surveyors like reading books?
     
  16. Aug 11, 2011 #15

    Evo

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    Hiking, can be free, or can cost, can be easy or hard, near or far, together, alone, I feel a song coming on...
     
  17. Aug 11, 2011 #16

    FlexGunship

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    http://www.hikingfunstore.com/hiking-music-009.html

    And something for you, Evo:

    [PLAIN]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT8S7J5BD9LPOs2FqlD3EM8WFesFjuYhsUToIVY64MPfn6xxSh1 [Broken]

    Hiking kitty.

    (After ruining your fun in the "intellectual pleasures" thread, I owe you a few cute cat pictures.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  18. Aug 11, 2011 #17

    Evo

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    :!!) Kitty!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  19. Aug 11, 2011 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    There is one physicist of note lately who likes surfing.

    If you spent your life in a lab, you might need to get out too. :biggrin:
     
  20. Aug 11, 2011 #19

    Moonbear

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    A lot of people enjoy hiking. Physicists are people too. :wink:

    As Evo pointed out, hiking is one of those things that people of all abilities can do...anything from a short hike on a relatively flat trail to a more challenging hike over steep and rocky terrain...and you can do it either alone or as a social activity with a group. You can do it for the exercise, you can do it for the scenery, you can do it for the conversation with the people you bring along, you can do it because there's a good pub at the end of the trail. So, it's an activity with pretty broad appeal to a lot of different people with different tastes.
     
  21. Aug 13, 2011 #20

    lisab

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    Exactly! I just got back from my trip, the tent was right about here...

    47°50'27.04"N, 124°32'19.60"W

    The place is unbelievable - anyone would love it, physicist or not.
     
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