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The sightly disquieting thing about physical concepts that involve lots of factorials (i.e. statistical mechanics) is that it seems like the author of any given textbook is trying to be much more excited than is warranted.

“We denote the number of possible permutations by N! And we’ll define another quantity (U-m)! Wow! This is so much fun!”

Meanwhile Quantum Physics spends all its time trying to convince you that you have no common sense. Most people think that the whole uncertainty business doesn’t really affect us on a large scale, but I learned a while back that galaxies exist because of it. You don’t get much bigger than that! And all this business about particles popping into existence and annihilating with each other is what allows electrons to de-excite and emit photons. I.e., we’d all be blind without quantum uncertainty.

Meanwhile my prof in classical mechanics seems to habitually make up words whenever he feels like it. I mean seriously. Fiducial? Anzats!? And when going over some old solutions today, it seemed to strick me as slightly metaphysical, what with the journey to the Heaviside Layer. And by that I mean, using the Heaviside function. Whatever. It’s not like they’re two completely different concepts or anything.

Random FAQ Comments (3)

3 Responses to “Physics entertains me”

  1. Josh says:

    I am so glad my major doesn’t require any physics past algebraic. That kind of stuff gives me a headache.

  2. GP says:

    Me too, Josh, me too… it’s only the superficial stuff that entertains me. To a real physicist, thinking factorials look excited is probably akin to giggling whenever someone says “duty”.

  3. cube says:

    It’s all about thermodynamics.

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