One of the main reasons I started thinking about physics was a college course I took called something like “Philosophy and Physics” by a Professor I liked a lot, David Albert. He’s still teaching courses on the philosophy of science.
The course covered the challenges of understanding the results of quantum mechanics experiments which look nothing like regular life—double slit experiments and things like that. I loved the course. I had taken only basic physics courses by then. It was purely philosophical, with no math or experiment.
I liked the course enough to consider majoring in philosophy of science.
Then it hit me:
I don’t want to interpret other people’s discoveries. I want to discover things myself and let other people interpret them.
That meant doing the experiments and learning the math. I’ve since come to see understanding nature as deeply as we can one of the most rewarding pursuits I know.
That course was not my only motivation, but it was an important one. Another motivation was the beauty I saw in how different patterns in nature could be described and understood so well with similar math.
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