I’ve decided to call this series “Physics!” instead of science, so as to differentiate when I also study other areas concurrently.
For this series, I’ll be using the new edition of the book I used in college. It is “Unversity Physics,” 13th edition, by Young and Freedman. It’s a fairly standard intro physics text, the only downside being that it doesn’t contain much calculus. But, as my friend Tony Piro said of calc-free physics books, “it’s good for developing intuition.” So, let’s get some of that.
Section 1.1: The Nature of Physics
In this brief section, we get a definition of “Theory,” which presumably exists thanks to the ongoing argument with creationists over whether a word can have different meanings in different contexts.
As an example, they present Galileo’s famous ball dropping experiment. I consider this experiment to be one of those works of fine art that we have lost the ability to appreciate because it is so well known in our culture. In the same way as it is difficult to appreciate Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik or Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, it is hard to appreciate how truly bizarre this experimental result is. I still have difficulty wrapping my head around it. All these objects with different mass somehow accelerate at a certain speed that depends on gravity.
Having gone a bit further in physics than this, I feel like I have a somewhat more in depth knowledge of the topic, and yet I don’t really feel like I understand it. But, I suppose that’s the fun of learning physics. Perhaps by the time we get to the end of Quantum Mechanics, I’ll feel better about myself.