Physics: The Popular View
Slide 2 of 24
This cartoon gives a fairly accurate representation of the popular view of physics.
On the one side is the high tech, exciting world of star trek which has little to
do with reality. On the other side is the boring world of real physics, which involves
measuring the speed of blocks as they slide down a ramp. As most of you know, there
exists the stereotype of the physicist as a logical, systematic and very boring
individual(science officer Spock). After all, physics is about observing phenomena and
finding systematic rules that account for the observations. What's worse, it requires
the immutable, and often impenetrable rules of higher mathematics.
One of the purposes of this talk is to argue that science in general, and physics in
particular, is very much a creative activity, that requires, in addition to technical
skills, a well developed aesthetic
sense. In short, physics can be and (to me at least) is beautiful. In order to do
convince you of this, I will focus on the concept of Symmetry.