A Fresh Start for Physics

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We all know that a new year means a new start.  New Year's resolutions are coming.  Soon school will be back!  So, because a fresh start is coming up, I think that we should give a well-known and often disliked subject a fresh start too.  Regardless of whether or not you enjoy school, I think that you will agree with me that physics has a bad reputation.  Physics is weird, and it is hard, and physics seems to follow some really ridiculous and whacky stuff.  I mean "Physics is super difficult" and "what's with all the variables!"  Only smart people like Einstein or Hawking can do physics…




Ok, I’m not saying that physics is easy.  And, I’m definitely not saying that physics is not weird (believe me, I find it really weird sometimes).  But physics is not just for geniuses like Hawking or Einstein.  Physics isn’t some random stupid subject that is required at school either.


Physics has a really bad reputation, and because of that, so many people write it off before they even try it.  Often, people will take one look at some the formulas and equations and just say: NOPE!  I used to do that.  But let’s be honest here, when you were really little, and you saw algebra problems, didn’t you just think that this math must be the hardest thing in the entire world and that you would never be able to do it?  (To anyone who hasn’t gotten to algebra yet, don’t worry.  It really isn’t as hard as it looks!)  So, just as you learned how to do the math, you can learn how to do the physics.  I’m not saying that it will be a case of snapping your fingers, twiddling your thumbs, and suddenly you’ve got it.  I’m saying that with a bit of work, a bit of concentration, and a bit of perseverance, anyone can do physics.  Einstein had to put in the hours!  Just think, every great genius in the world out- every physicist to ever live- had to start off in the exact same position as you.  Well, actually, they had to try and discover all of the stuff you have to memorize (but you know what I mean).


Ok, so when you get to this sentence (yes, the one you’re busy reading right now), I’m hoping that I’ve convinced you that you can learn to do physics.  If I haven’t convinced you of that by now, I ask you ever so nicely to reread the above paragraph over and over again until I have convinced you that you can learn physics.  Maybe even write the phrase “anyone can learn physics” on your palm until you believe it.  Then, someday if you take my advice and you put in the hours, do the work (really work hard), and then you succeed in physics, I’ll be sitting at my desk muttering, “I told you so” to myself not ever actually knowing if anyone did take my advice.


But, all jokiness aside, you really should give physics a shot.  I could give you a million scientific and political reasons as to why physics is the most important subject you could ever take in high school, but that’s what all of our teachers and other adults are doing.  So I won’t do that.  Me telling you guys why physics is, scientifically speaking, the most important subject to take, would be like a musician telling me why a particular note is the most important note to focus on while playing some grand piano piece by Mozart.  Rather, let me tell you why physics is the most beautiful subject there is.  Yes, I said it.  Physics is the most beautiful subject you can take.


At this point, I have the feeling you are thinking that I am absolutely nuts to say that physics is the most beautiful subject there is- art, music, theatre, etc. is the most beautiful, duh!  But, please, just continue reading, and you might just understand why physics holds so much beauty.  When you look at the stars, what do you think?  Do you think: oh, wow, it’s so beautiful?  Do you just stare in awe?  It is nice to just admire the beauty of something, but (to me at least) what is even more amazing is to have your brain fill with questions and ideas when you look at something.  Physics lets me look at the stars and wonder what would happen if I traveled to the end of the universe.  Physics lets me look at the sunset and wonder why the sky is the different colors that it is.


Physics contains the answers to some of the world’s greatest mysteries.  It provides a way for people to get lost in the mysteries of our world.  Physics is like a really fancy door that looks super complicated to open.  But, with just a little bit of work, you open the door and walk into a room.  Then that room is covered with doors.  Doors on the walls.  Doors on the ceiling.  Doors on the floors.  There are doors that seem to float around in the air that disappear and reappear!  You get to choose any of those doors to travel through- and you can come back anytime you like.  In each of these doors is a mystery that you and anyone else can solve.  (Sounds like the ultimate paradise to me.)  The very definition of our reality, our world lies within physics.  Who wouldn’t want to learn about that?


I know that physics isn’t for everyone, but before you say that it isn’t for you, give it a try.  And when I say “a try”, I mean give it 2 to 5 tries because that’s just the nature of physics, it almost always doesn’t work out on the first try.  So what do you say?  It’s a new year.  Everything’s going to start anew.  What about a fresh start for physics too?

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