I’m doing another ‘My View’ post. Sorry for not posting any science concepts for so long. I’m working on it.
Why did i choose to write about this? I have been asked this question many many times. Please do note that this definition of physics that i speak of is my own personal opinion and it’s not a universal fact so feel free to comment and voice your opinions!
But just for those who wanted a standard definition:
1. the science that deals with matter, energy, motion, and force.
Physics aims to unify everything to get the most fundamental ‘things’ that govern our universe. When I use ‘things’ I mean practically everything. From forces to energy, from matter to antimatter.
And precisely because of the fact that physics is so fundamental that i love it so much.
Allow me to use an analogy, the engineer who knows how every single part of a car is able to understand how to drive the car, but the driver who drives the car does not know how all the different parts of the car work. And this is why physics is so powerful.
It is able to explain the other 2 sciences, chemistry and biology. It can explain how particles interact at the subatomic level, therefore being able to explain things at the atomic level, therefore being able to explain things at the molecular level, therefore being able to explain things at the biological level.
Then aren’t the other 2 sciences useless? NO! Biology and Chemistry are very very important. Despite physics being the most fundamental, biology and chemistry allow us to be much more efficient and be more accurate at the macro level.
Let’s go back to the analogy, if the engineer who knows how the car works but doesn’t know how to drive wants to drive the car. Theoretically he can slowly learn how to control the car by analyzing its most fundamental components. However this would be very impractical as he would have to waste a lot of time to do so.
Biology and chemistry allow us to focus on broader issues while sacrificing breadth for depth. They allow us to be efficient and in the modern society is very very important.
So does that mean that Physics again is useless? Obviously not. Physics is still able to describe other phenomena that occur at the macro scale. Thing such as forces and velocity are still important.
So what is Physics to me?
(After all this is a ‘My View’ post)
Physics is the subject that I love so deeply. The subject that keeps me coming back for more. The subject that never fails to intrigue me. The subject which relieves my stress yet at the same time stresses it out. I hate it yet i love it.
When i first became interested in science, i loved chemistry. I thought that chemistry could solve all my problems. I thought it was the science that made the most sense, until i met physics. In the beginning i found it interesting and i wanted to learn more. However i couldn’t find anyone to teach me the basics. My only source of valuable physics knowledge were my weekly physics classes. I asked questions, many many questions. I asked questions like “Does light have mass?” “What is antimatter” and even engaged in debates with my father and my friends about these concepts.
By this point i was learning something new every week. The pace of which i was absorbing knowledge was increasing steadily too. Then i hit a wall. The questions were getting more and more difficult. I realized that although i was absorbing a lot of information, it wasn’t all useful and it was fragmented. The link between each topic was very vague.
At the end of the year, i received something, something i am thankful for to this day. In the beginning i underestimated its power, until i experienced it for myself. At Cnergy i was learning more than i had ever imagined. It has become the thing i look forward to every Monday. The knowledge i had access to was unbelievable. I was progressing so fast that i found myself being extremely stupid just a few months ago. The friendships i have forged in the Cnergy programme are the most valuable thing i have gained from this programme. Our Cnergy group is extremely tightly bonded.
Cnergy has also given me the opportunity to participate in many various courses and competitions. It has truly enriched my life.
Last but not least, SJPO. The Singapore Junior Physics Olympiad. I have learned so much that its literally indescribable. I am also very thankful for the chance to participate in the trainings.
So back to the question, what is Physics to me?
Other than all the things i have mentioned above, Physics is a path, a journey, a path that i am still walking on.
And I’m never getting off this path.
Clyde Lhui 🙂