Posts on physics in this blog …

with No Comments

As a retired man I find some time now to read again books about theoretical physics. There are some fantastic books out there these days which guide the reader in a didactically better way than what I experienced during my studies at a German university in the 80s. I will give some literature hints in forthcoming posts.

I stopped with doing physics professionally almost 35 years ago. So, it took some time to find solid ground again both regarding the required math and the rather special way of thinking in theoretical physics. But I experience it very rewarding to return to some of the basic subjects – and look upon them with many years distance.

After having heard physics lectures during your school and physics education some problems, thought experiments or simple questions may follow you through your life. The pattern in my case is: You have listened to the lecturer, you have accepted the argumentation and logic, you even may have become able to use the underlying math to solve exercises – but have you really understood the central point? Has the central little brick fallen down in your brain that makes all other bricks fall into their logical “right” places of your physical model of thins in reality?

In many cases there remains a feeling: I may not have understood the clue. This feeling gives you a persistent uneasiness. Over years. Some posts in this category will pick up a few of the subjects which have followed me through my life outside physics. And for a few of these subjects the central brick eventually fell into place. Often by turning to more elementary problems and models than discussed during my first confrontation with the topic.

Some other posts will deal with questions I have got during talks or discussions with people without much or without any education in physics. Such talks often make me wonder what kind of world model many people base their life and decisions on. Very, very often you hear pre-Galilean ideas. You do not believe me? Well, just ask some politicians, lawyers, business economists, psychologists or even philosophers about the reason why objects near the surface of the earth fall with different velocities to the ground we stand on.

Physics in my case is these days a hobby of an old man, but I hope that some of the posts I am going to write in this category will at least amuse some of the readers.