Passion for physics


, , ,

It is a regular appointment that I have with my friend and his family. Unless some other activities draw us away, we would have a pizza dinner at our favourite pizza place every Friday evening. There we would have lively discussions about the week’s events; share our perspectives on recent events; be cynical together about the politics or the world economy; or we would just debate our latest philosophies about life.

At one of these pizza dinners I recently expressed my latest wisdom about life: the importance of having a passion. As it often happens at such occasions my revelation was not only for the amusement of my audience. It was very much an eye-opener for myself. At that same occasion I then also revealed (or should I say `discovered’) that I know what my passion is.

It is physics.

Reviewing my life and how things evolved I can clearly say that it is not such a surprising revelation. All through my studies in electronic engineering I had this primary interest in things that are physics related. Unfortunately, I lived under the conviction that physics does not provide one with enough career opportunities. Then eventually after having completed my studies in engineering and having earned a living for quite a while in that field, I decided to drop everything and go back to do to university to do a PhD in physics. I did it and it is sad that I did not do it earlier. It was too late to start a career in physics. So the question is, what am I doing about it?

That brings me to the book I’m currently reading. It is a book by Lee Smolin called The trouble with physics. Now, just a warning: never take this book to the beach. It will look very suspicious when you sit and read this book on the beach. You see, the title on the cover of my copy is written upside down. 😉

Anyway, the combination of the recent realization of my passion for physics and this book about the trouble with physics spurred me to start a blog — this blog. The purpose is to have a way to live out my passion. In the words of Richard Feynman, to experience the pleasure of finding things out. Here I hope to organise my thoughts, to express my views and to take up battle with my ignorance.

I don’t expect much interaction. Physics is not a topic that interests everybody. That is not the point. However, I welcome interesting discussions about physics, as long as things don’t get too wacky.