Friday, August 10, 2007

Dead and Alive

My first inkling that I would not win a Nobel prize for my outstanding work as a particle physicist occurred as I gazed in stupefaction at my first quadratic equation.

Mathematics is just plain nasty: you either get it or you don't. It's like poetry in this respect, except more useful. Because of my lack of mathematical aptitude I have always (probably quite rightly) regarded myself as a bit of a bonehead. I can grasp the concepts ok, but the equations make my head swim.

I watched a documentary on the atom last night. Quantum mechanics, the problem of measurement, Schrodinger's cat: I thought my head was going to explode. It was all very, very confusing. Thankfully most of the scientists seemed equally confused, what with their multiverses and all.

Apparently I exist in an infinite number of universes, in one of which my nose is one millimetre longer than in this one. Apparently I am, and am not.

Hamlet, eat yer heart out mate.


MJ said...

Is anything besides your nose longer?

garfer said...

Not telling.

Use your imagination.

Dx said...

I just about get the 2 + 2 bit but can't quite work out where they get their answer from.

KAZ said...

Your big mistake was to watch a documentary on Physics.
Physicists become physicists because they cannot speak to humans.
To avoid interacting they invent stuff which is just plain wrong. No one understands so they get a Nobel prize.
Oops I'll shut up.

garfer said...

These things require fourtitude DX.

Physics teachers wear courdoroys and fiddle with springs Kaz. They are best avoided.

suburban wonder said...

I'm going to go with the stereotypical girlie response - ewwww, Math & Science!! Gross!

(Apologies to Dr. Sniffy on this one)

I always hated math. It wasn't until I got to University that they discovered that I was number dyslexic. Accounts for a lot of childhood trauma, that.

garfer said...

I wasn't that bad at it, it just didn't come naturally.

I hate having to work at anything.

betty said...

I'm just not hardwired to do maths. Unfortunately, the maths teacher for the majority of time at my secondary school was one of those people who thought that nothing mattered apart from maths, and assumed that anyone who wasn't brilliant at it JUST WASN'T TRYING.

He used to have a system of putting the brightest kids at the front and left side of the class, with the thickest at the back, on the right hand side, just to emphasise who the failures were.

When I worked my arse off to just about pass my Maths O-Level I felt really chuffed because I expected to get an E grade. When he asked me how I did I proudly said "I passed with a C grade!" "Huh. I expected everyone to AT LEAST get a B grade" he replied. Miserable old git.

... er, I think I may have unresolved issues to do with this.

garfer said...

Maths teachers are all odd. they can't comprehend why something so blindingly obvious to them should cause difficulty for anyone else.

The GCSE has been so dumbed down these days that the ability to subtract 5 from 10 seems to be sufficient for at least a B grade.

If you got a C at 'O' level that should equate to an A* at GCSE.

S.I.D. said...

My maths teacher had big breasts.


I wish.

Mopsa said...

Pop over to pick up your creative blogger award - if you so choose.

garfer said...

Trust you to bring mammaries into a serious conversation about quantam theory Sid. You really are a quark.

Thank you for my award Mopsa, I am most honoured.

First Nations said...

my daughter got the math gene. she does sudoku puzzles for FUN. she knows MATH JOKES. and for this, they gave her a job where she gets to set things ON FIRE and get paid for it! (aerospace materials research)

frankly yes; i AM jealous.

First Nations said...

btw KAZ is absolutely correct. they just make that stuff up so people will pay attention to them.