How did I miss all that? or Geeking out on Physics!

Actually I know how I missed all that.

It is amazing how wrapped up you can get in your job and your life. My assumption is that this is even truer for those who have kids. Finding out what was happening in the field of theoretical physics and cosmology just didn’t seem all that important.

Yes – this is a true geek moment!

This journey started out because I wanted to remember what the 4 Rules of Happiness were according to Dr. Gilbert (see previous posts on happiness). I spent some time wandering around trying to find the information. Surprisingly enough I didn’t find that – what I did find was TED.

I’d forgotten about TED.

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading! How could I have forgotten? It was Friday I was sick of myself and tired of my work so I wandered around for awhile watching brilliant people talk about fascinating things. (And no I didn’t watch the James Cameron: Before Avatar – but here’s the link.)

What I did watch was several things on physics.

Brian Greene on String Theory and Sean Carroll on the Arrow of Time (Part I and Part II)

And I learned that Brian Greene can give me a glimpse of what is happening in the strings that sit inside quarks, which sit inside protons, which sit inside atoms. Trust me – I don’t get the math and I can barely get my head around the idea of strings vibrating in multiple dimensions, ten plus time = eleven!

Then I never realized how little we understood about Time itself. Vaguely I remember the idea that Time went in a single direction because of Entropy. A single arrow shot out of the Big Bang that moved all things from order to chaos. (On a side note – Peter Segal, of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, discussed children as agents of Entropy on The Late Late Show. I know, I know more geek humor.)

The sad thing is I know now just enough to know that I know nothing – so I went and picked up one of Brain Greene’s book The Fabric of the Cosmos and have put Sean Carroll’s book From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time on hold.

That “on hold” part. The old me would have dropped in on Borders Books or Powell’s and picked up a copy. The new me walked down to her local community Library, got a library card for the first time in 20 years, and walked out with a book.  

I must be getting old… The going is tough. It’s been a decade since I took physics and even longer since I read anything near the cutting edge. The God Particle was my last “pop” physics book. But I know it will be worth it! Nothing is more fun than throwing oneself into the deep end and discovering how to swim again.

~ Tess

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