One of the students in my Adopt a Physicist class just asked me:

hi, i wanted to know what is the most interesting part or aspect of physics to you?

I had to think about it a moment. Here’s what I wrote:

What I like best about physics are two things:
1 – Explaining how everyday things work
2 – Getting insight into the world through mathematics

I’m not one of those people who’s really interested in things like astronomy, cosmology, string theory, or particle physics. To me, those are so far removed from my everyday life, I don’t care about them that much. But I am really interested in questions like “Why is metal shiny?” or “How does hair dye work?” There are some really great book about this, like one called “The science of everyday life“, and that’s the kind of thing I find interesting.

I also really enjoy math and how an equation can describe something that really happens in the world. It can be a lot of work to understand equations and math, but once you do, they can give you an understanding of how the world works that is deeper than you can get just using words. Once I’ve done that work and see how the equation works, I find that to be really thrilling.

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