‘You can’t fool the physics’ (Richard Feymann)… but ‘The physics can fool you’ (Dave’s dad). Yes, Dave’s dad, and mine, are both physicists, and that is the only reason that either of us ever came to Oak Ridge Tennessee, when the two dads got posted to ORNL, the US government lab. In fact, were it not for physics, Dave and I would never have met. OMG! And then where would we be?
Look at this:
That is said to be the first evidence of the Higgs boson – the ‘God particle’ – which has just come out of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider at Geneva. Dave’s dad is talking about it non-stop – he does something with neutrons up at the lab, so he understands that stuff. My dad was wittering on about it as well when he called me yesterday – he does other nuclear stuff back in UK.
Thing is, we actually use physics in our own stuff. We have to ‘defy’ gravity to hold our balances, we use momentum to control our tumbling, and so forth. The girls understand well the difference between heat and temperature, which enables them to do apparently scary things with fire. Same thing with the bed of nails – US physics professors are apt to lie on them as well as crazy circus people like us. We also have to understand the physical biology of how muscles work, and how to treat them, with proper warm-ups and so forth. Gosh! And none of this came from school, to be fair: we just somehow figured it out when training with our mates. Whence, this becomes not only possible, but physics helps us to train for it and to understand what we need to do with our muscles:
The application of ‘force times distance’ helps us in our strength training:
So, despite our inclination to shun schoolwork in our final years, we use physics every day. Can’t get away from it.
All that stuff I’ve written into ‘Loving the Boy’ and ‘The Power of Love’ – physics! And a little human biology of a gay nature, one has to confess. And I guess getting shot at – ballistics is physics too. Oh well.
Three cheers for physics, then. My dad’s fascination with it has paid for a lot of my upbringing and education, anyways.
Let’s end this post with a funny that I heard about in an article on the website of a UK newspaper, and was able to find for you with a quick Google. Three cheers for Professor Higgs, who may yet win his Nobel prize. And the same for Mr. Royston, who’s work I have stolen here without his permission but I hope he will understand. Enjoy!