Essential questions

I’m often to be found claiming that I love particle physics; I truly do. I began pursuing the discipline some time after I first delved into bio – this will seem ironic if one thinks of the sequential order in which past events occurred. Regardless, and quite logically, the field proved itself immediately to be as intriguing as biology; I devote quite a large portion of my time to attempting to solve problems of particle physics at present.

The area can be quite intimidating at first glance. That noted, I’d be inclined to state that a quick glimpse grants the viewer far too much self-confidence – this is a branch of physics that becomes increasingly disquieting as one plows onwards. As such, it can sometimes be difficult to approach the discipline in a cool, collected fashion – one fears rejection and, subsequently, embarrassment. Alternatively, one examines its concepts and is propelled forth in such a burst of enthusiasm that one stumbles some time later.

Fascinated by this particular field of study? Perhaps striving to ponder the following could prove useful:
1. We’ve evolved to be sensitive to the visible range of light; many quantum entities and interactions are considerably more evident in the ultraviolet range, to which an insect’s eye spectrum is tailored.
2. Let’s define “solid”. What, precisely, is solid in the universe? It seems from both a biological and a quantum mechanical perspective that nothing is simple – virtually all organelles are reducible to an abundance of smaller items, all subatomic particles actually composed of more miniscule components. Perhaps everything is irreducibly complex when we know nothing of it; perhaps the structure of the universe is the only truly irreducibly complex system. What does this connote in terms of evolutionary theory?
3. Striving to understand the phenomena in the quantum realm can feel counter-intuitive. Essentially, we’re dealing with human (or, at most, earthly) sense; the battle for an elevated universal consciousness rages fiercely. May we actually adapt to so natural an intelligence, or is that adaptation unnatural in itself?
4. The integration of the observer into solutions to problems of particle physics is problematic, because the observer, having been introduced at a specific point in the evolution of the universe, cannot successfully ponder the aforementioned.
5. Evolution is an earthly solution to a universal problem – in order to understand its origins and its logic, we must examine the particle physics of the early universe. Here lies the question in response to which evolution raises an eager, trained hand.

These are not necessarily truths, but thoughts geared at provoking the more obscure of your intellectual temptations.

I’m currently looking at 8.952 – I’ve stumbled upon many an interesting problem.  I will attempt to highlight these in the posts that follow.

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3 Responses to Essential questions

  1. Jason says:

    Which problems of particle physics have you been solving? It would bring me most joy to see a sample of your work!

    • Sophia says:

      I’ve actually been looking at the problem sets for 8.821; I fear that you’ll be disappointed with my work. It has, after all, been formulated with an exceedingly limited understanding of the aforementioned discipline. However, I’ll post some attempts at the second problem set from that course soon.

      I’ve recently been getting into problems involving arcane group theory. Right now, for example, I’m going at the third one in the previously-mentioned problem set.

      I am most certainly not of any concern where solutions to previously-unsolved problems are to be found. Whilst I hope to eventually engage in intellectual battles with such puzzles, I am in no state to do so now, being a lowly high school student with nothing to my name but immense interest in those disciplines to which I’ve taken a liking.

    • Sophia says:

      May I also ask how you are involved with or interested in the discipline? It always pleases me to discover whence other interested individuals stem!

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