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Why do you love physics?

  1. Aug 22, 2008 #1
    I know most people are in here simply for homework help or just trying to pass the class.
    But I think there are others who truly are interested and LOVE physics. Why? What aspect of this particular science appeals to you? I have heard physics being called "the poetry of mankind used to explain the universe". What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2008 #2


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    Well maybe because it is deals with the 'fundamentals' of nature and is strongly related to philosophy and mathematics. But my definitive answer is 'Quantum Physics', when we had that in high school, that is the first time I can remember i thought 'physics is cool man', just beacause nature is not 'intuitive'...
  4. Aug 22, 2008 #3
    I love physics because it dives into the basic nature of how things work. Even if the subject itself doesn't completely come together in the end, there are still moments of clarity where parts of things come together and you can say to yourself "oh, so that could account for why this happens." It is enormously satisfying when these moments happen. Chemistry is an empty subject without physics explaining how and why things are happening, and almost all of the useful ideas in Biology are built on the backbone of Chemistry. Therefore, Physics is not only potentially the most satisfying of the main sciences, but if your goal is to achieve a deep understanding in another related science it is also the most important (it is simply a shame that it is the most difficult of the sciences as many are turned away from the subject long before they see the beauty in it).
  5. Aug 22, 2008 #4
    Re: why I love physics?

    Physics (non-quantum) is essential in understand how things operate and what one should expect in witnessing or being part of a physical happening. I believe physics should be required as a pre-requisite to obtaining a driver's license.

    Some physics lessons are learned by default as one does things like...fall down...get hit with a "softball"...sink in water...burn one's hand on the stove...spit into the wind..."fly" one's hand outside the car window...microwave an egg without venting it...get a palette blister from a hot pizza...get an "ice cream headache" from eating it too fast...have one's pants fall down for lack of a belt...wear out a pair of shoes...&c. These things do not require an understanding of mathematics.

    To learn much about physics, one must also understanding math...the more the better.
  6. Aug 22, 2008 #5
    ahhh....--the mysteries.....

    (to try to figure out)
  7. Aug 22, 2008 #6
    Well, I must admit I was a VERY poor student through High School. I was bored, and didn't consider that the things we were studying at the time would be a foundation for the more interesting things to come.

    When I discovered the joy of physics, for the first time in my life I WANTED to learn the math, and to build the foundation I had earlier failed to build. Physics gives meaning and insight to the world around us.

    As Feynman so succinctly put it "There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe..."

    How true! And now that I'm getting my act together, I'm starting to see this excitement more every day.
  8. Aug 22, 2008 #7
    Exactly the same for me! My teacher showed us how to derive a formula of Quantum Mechanics (Something to do with Bohr's theory of hydrogen, I think. It was just basic algebra.) because I kept asking him to go into QM. I had a strong interest in the 'watered down' books put out by Brian Greene, Lisa Randall etc etc, but I have to say, those two higher level physics courses I took in high school (Along with the coolest teacher I have ever had) sparked my interest in math, physics and science. It's the biggest reason why I enrolled in college this year. I have to understand what it all 'means' in a mathematical sense!

    Edit: jdlinke, I'm glad I'm not the only one in that situation! I even failed out of high school math!
  9. Aug 22, 2008 #8
    I would completely agree with the "poetry of the Universe" thing. But I would also like to say that this is often not really a choice one makes. I did not make it. I just can't help it. Why do you love somebody ? Did you make a conscious choice at some point that you would be in love with somebody ?
  10. Aug 22, 2008 #9


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    I love the feeling of solving a really tough problem. Especially, when I'm stumped for a while, then I get the A-HA! moment. Double especially if the method is particularly creative, that's a great feeling.
  11. Aug 22, 2008 #10
    That's much more like engineering job -
    Software Engineers (you don't even know what's the problem :rofl:)!
  12. Sep 7, 2008 #11
    I passed my math in High School, but with consistent D's, if you can really call that a passing grade :) I think the teachers felt pity for me. I wish I'd paid attention back then, because only now (8 years after graduating High School) am I really starting to have a solid mathematical foundation to stand upon.
  13. Sep 7, 2008 #12
    Its not so much my love of physics as my love of the people on this forum that keeps me coming back.
  14. Sep 7, 2008 #13
  15. Sep 7, 2008 #14


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    I don't love physics. That would be illogical.

  16. Mar 27, 2009 #15


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    To me, it represents purity of thought. No religion, no politics, no psychology... no human variables. Math falls into the same category, but I have no understanding of it.
  17. Mar 27, 2009 #16
    From a young age I wanted to find out for myself how things worked and as a little kid I liked to take things apart and look inside them.Its a shame about the cat(kidding,I like cats and other animals)
  18. Mar 27, 2009 #17
    In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.
    - Paul Dirac

    I wouldn't say that I love physics. After all, I am not a physicist. I derive a great deal of enjoyment trying to understand the models in the physics books (the ones Dirac says can be understood by everyone. Yikes). When I gain insight, I feel a sense of satisfaction that is hard to describe.
  19. Mar 27, 2009 #18


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    Man, I can't tell you how many clocks, razors, toasters, etc. that I autopsied as a kid. Unfortunately, it took a few more years before I learned how to put them back together. :redface:
  20. Mar 27, 2009 #19


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    There was always extra hardware after I put things back together in that era.
  21. Mar 27, 2009 #20


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    Too right! If you rebuild an automatic transmission or a carbeurator, there's always one piece left over... and the damned thing works better without it.
  22. Mar 27, 2009 #21

    I would never outright hurt our cat back when I was a child, but I did empty the clothes hamper a couple times, dropped Schroeder in and G-force tested her for a couple of fast spins. I'm pretty sure she didn't think it was as fun as I thought it was. :rofl:
  23. Mar 27, 2009 #22
    I almost threw up from laughing so hard. Where did you get this?
  24. Oct 16, 2009 #23
    From a young age I was always very curious about the universe. I had to absolutely no everything about some system - how it worked and how different components interacted. It game me the feeling of being in control of the universe - I like to be the master of the universe!

    Even now it's the same. I understand that physics can attempt to explain every single system at the grass roots level. This fascinated me. No other science is capable of such a thing without relying on physics and mathematics.

    I am not satisfied knwoning nothing about some system in nature. Physics makes me satisified.

    Physics with mathematics can explain things perfectly - this I like!
  25. Oct 16, 2009 #24
    and the zombie thread of the week is.....

    For me personally though I like physics because I want to be able to understand how and why things work, and I feel that out of all the fields physics imparts the best understanding of our physical surroundings.
  26. Oct 16, 2009 #25
    I watched too much Star Trek as a kid, and convinced myself that if I became a physicist I could build myself a warp drive some day. Then I learned that physics actually inhibits my ability to watch Star Trek.

    Now I'm just sticking it out so that I can be called "doctor" in three years.
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