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Why Physics 18/01/2013 19:52 #43

Why Physics

Why do Physics instead of Engineering (the dilemma of many young people, also at my times)? Why do Science in general? Thinking carefully, the answer can be a disconcerting simplicity: it depends on how much it is natural for you to ask: "why?"

If you are fascinated by knowing or finding yourself the answer to a "why" on Nature, go to Science: it is waiting for you. In Science you will have the same drive to know that motivates the children to say the same word. You may develop innovative techniques or construct extraordinary devices, but always with the motivation and the purpose to answer a why.

Of course, you could build very beautiful, refined, extraordinary devices being moved by another motivation. A Formula 1 car is as near to perfection as one can do in that field. But if you are fascinated by the why, look at it and let it do to others: Technology is not for you.

Anyway, the path should be dictated by true feelings: only in this way one can achieve the maximum without suffering of the efforts. The choices of pure convenience can be understandable, but it is not the right basis for a beginning and can lead to be losers.

Did you read books by Richard Feynman , 1965 Nobel Laureate in Physics? They are special, even those not about Physics. And of course are special "The Feynman’s Lectures on Physics". Read the chapters given below, to understand what Physics is and how it is related to other Sciences. I include the famous image of Feynman that appears on the book.

The Feyman’s Lectures on Physics
By R.P. Feyman, R.B. Leighton and M. Sands, Addison Wesley (1965)

Atoms in motion, Vol. I, Ch. 1

The relation of Physics to other Sciences, Vol. I, Ch. 3
Paolo Strolin
Professore Emerito di Fisica Sperimentale
Università di Napoli "Federico II"
Complesso Univ. Monte S. Angelo
Via Cintia - 80126 Napoli - Italy

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