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Erica Watson: on 9/24/14 at 13:03pm UTC, wrote Hi Stephane! Thanks so much, both for your comments and the vote! James...

Stephane Durand: on 9/21/14 at 16:44pm UTC, wrote I enjoyed a lot the part on Zeno's paradox ! Thanks for your comments on...

Erica Watson: on 9/19/14 at 20:15pm UTC, wrote Given that my area of study primarily IS theoretical math, I politely beg...

Erica Watson: on 9/19/14 at 20:01pm UTC, wrote Thanks for the compliments on my sketches! I had a lot of fun with those....

Henri De Roule: on 9/14/14 at 22:23pm UTC, wrote It is interesting to think of physics. I liked the idea you presented and...

James Walsh: on 9/11/14 at 7:35am UTC, wrote Hi, Thank you. Erica will appreciate that you liked her illustrations. I'm...

Antony Lisi: on 9/11/14 at 2:19am UTC, wrote Well done video. Especially liked the cute sketches. Voted it up. Here's...

Erica Watson: on 9/9/14 at 14:27pm UTC, wrote Hi Marc! Thanks for the compliment on the animations! That was fun to do,...


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FQXi FORUM
November 19, 2019

CATEGORY: Show Me the Physics! Video Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: Never Bored by James Lyons Walsh [refresh]
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James Lyons Walsh wrote on Aug. 8, 2014 @ 21:30 GMT
Video Image





Video URL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loxvD44RO0M&feature=youtu
.be




Video Description

From Zeno's paradoxes to knee replacement surgery to dropping things off towers to music based on the Dirac equation, here are some reasons you might find studying physics rewarding and enjoyable.

Video Co-Creator(s)

Erica Watson, College of Saint Rose


Video Creator Bio

James Lyons Walsh is a graduate student and former adjunct instructor in physics, and Erica Watson is a math and philosophy major and former student of James. Since James would start his introductory physics courses by asking the students to name some of the reasons for studying physics, he found the goal of this contest compelling. Erica has enjoyed thinking about physics since taking the introductory courses and agreed to lend her talents to the project. Both Erica and James want everyone to appreciate how much fun physics can be.

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Member Marc Séguin wrote on Sep. 6, 2014 @ 19:33 GMT
James and Erica,

I enjoyed your video: I think you did a good job at showing both the fun side and the useful side of physics. The sound quality was a bit shaky in places, and some of the live action sequences could have bit edited to quicken the pace of the video, but overall, I think you did a good job. I especially liked Zeno's paradox animation, as well as when Erica says that with physics, "the world becomes less mysterious, and yet more so".

I've seen that you tried to "wake up" this forum to the fact that videos that don't reach 10 community votes have no chance to make it to the finals, as I've been doing for a while. Let's hope it works! If you have time to take a look and rate each of my three "This Is Physics" videos, it would be very appreciated, of course!

Good luck in the contest!

Marc

P.S. At the beginning of your video, when you say that physics allows us not to be bored anywhere, and give the example of some types of afterlife, are you suggesting that when physicists get to Heaven, they pass the time by trying to figure out the physics of Heaven? :):)

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James Lyons Walsh replied on Sep. 6, 2014 @ 20:01 GMT
Hi,

Thanks for the rating and comments. As for Heaven, I hope that I'll get to keep doing physics if I make it there. That is, I hope I won't be told the answers on arrival. I'm off to take a look at your videos.

James

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Erica Watson replied on Sep. 9, 2014 @ 14:27 GMT
Hi Marc!

Thanks for the compliment on the animations! That was fun to do, and a very different art style than I'm used to working in. Usually my stuff is a lot more complex (the images at the end of the video for example), so I had to learn how do simple in a very hot hurry. I'm glad it went over well!

Thanks too for your warm reception of my commentary at the end. It's very true for me. I've stood looking at every day situations and objects and thought how wonderful it was to have a good grasp of what basic physics were at play there, while simultaneously marveling over how much was going on that I *didn't* know about. It's really awesome feeling, in the truest sense of the word. :) Of course, credit where it's due: I have to thank James, because without his great efforts and encouragement, I might never have arrived at that place. ;)

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Kristen Hamilton wrote on Sep. 7, 2014 @ 00:34 GMT
Hi James,

I like your video. The production value isn't great, but I think it is well-written. One question though: what connection does the knee replacement example have with physics?

By the way, if you could watch and rate my video, "The Cool Physics of Refrigeration," that would be awesome.

David

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James Lyons Walsh replied on Sep. 7, 2014 @ 07:04 GMT
Hi,

Thanks for the rating and comments. As for the knee replacement part, among other things, physics gives you facility with thinking mathematically and doing unit conversion. The unit conversion to years of driving per surgery makes the numbers understandable to me, since driving is a familiar activity, unlike surgery, and I have a good sense of how much of it I'm willing to risk. I'm off to watch your video again. I liked it when I watched it a long time ago, but I hadn't rated it yet.

James

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Kristen Hamilton replied on Sep. 7, 2014 @ 19:09 GMT
Thanks for responding. I guess I usually think of unit conversions and probability as part of math in general, but they certainly have applications in physics.

David

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Erica Watson replied on Sep. 9, 2014 @ 14:08 GMT
Hi David!

I can understand your initial confusion on the unit conversion thing. Being a math major, I always tended to see that side of physics first, and for a while I wondered if I was maybe even "cheating" a little, because I was relying more on my mathematical intuition, as opposed to understanding the verbal language of physical laws and theories, to grasp what was going on in class. But as James said to me once when I voiced concern about it, "The math is the physics, and the physics the math." It didn't matter which framework I used to comprehend the material, I'd get to the same place either way. Further, I struggled with physics most only when I tried to keep the conceptual and the math as separate entities in my mind. When I finally understood they were really one and the same, things clicked into place a lot more readily. Sure, physics may be a subset of math, but I've looked over James' shoulder at his homework and research for his physics graduate studies, and I've become convinced: it's a pretty enormous subset. :)

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Douglas Alexander Singleton wrote on Sep. 8, 2014 @ 16:11 GMT
Hi James, Erica,

We agree! If you study/think about the world with a physics point of view you'll never get bored. So in regard to the Nietzsche quote "Against boredom even the gods contend in vain" this must be referring to gods with no love/knowledge of physics :-). The two examples you give are great. While calculating the risk of a knee surgery is not physics directly *it* does illustrate a physics way of thinking and this is the kind of justification we give to our students when tey complain that they'll never need to understand an Atwood's machine (for example). Maybe not but the way of approaching problems that allows one to solve the Atwood's machine is a very general and powerful way of approaching problems.

By the way Feynman had a very similar view to the power of physics. Their was some interview (we think it's on YouTube) where he discusses his (Feynman's) ability to appreciate a sunset or a flower. Feynman's point is that he is able to appreciate these things in more or less the same way as an artist, photographer or painter (maybe not in as refined a way, but he (Feynman) is also able to appreciate and understand these things from a physics perspective and this only deepens ones understanding and appreciation for these things.

Anyway a nice video. We wish you well in the contest.

Best,

Mike, Max, Simon, Dan, Doug

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Erica Watson replied on Sep. 9, 2014 @ 13:49 GMT
Hehehe. James is right, I do have a fondness for Nietzsche. :) He's not someone I agree with completely on everything, but he does have his very valid points, and I love his sense of humor. My favorite thing about him though, is the fact that, at least in the stuff I've read, Nietzsche doesn't merely state his own ideas for the reader to reject or accept, very often he puts them forth in a way that really allows the reader to draw their own conclusions from what he's saying. He gives you the setup, but what you pull from it is sort of up to you and how much you want to think about what he's saying, and in what context. This is extremely appealing to my math-wired mind, as it's similar to being given a puzzle, but not its solution(s).

I'm familiar with the Feynman video you speak of, too, and that was indeed one of my favorite parts of it. I really do see the world very much in the way I described, and the alchemy of physics, math, and philosophy playing off each other in mind makes for a life in which boredom must be a willful decision. :)

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James Lyons Walsh wrote on Sep. 9, 2014 @ 10:35 GMT
Hi,

Thanks. That's very good about the quote. I'm sure Erica will enjoy it. The contest appealed to me because of my efforts in the past to get students to think about how physics would be useful to them in addition to helping them get their degrees. It's nice to have the opinion of people who've been in the same position with students. Good luck to you, too.

James

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Erica Watson wrote on Sep. 9, 2014 @ 13:27 GMT
Thanks to everyone who's been checking us out! I'm really glad if you've liked the video; it was very fun to work together with James on it, and I was both humbled and honored to have him ask me to be co-creator with him.

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Member Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Sep. 11, 2014 @ 02:19 GMT
Well done video. Especially liked the cute sketches. Voted it up.

Here's my Higgs Geometry video if you can have a look.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2154

It's tricky to present the mathematics of symmetry breaking and particle physics to a popular audience, so I do appreciate feedback on it.

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James Lyons Walsh replied on Sep. 11, 2014 @ 07:35 GMT
Hi,

Thank you. Erica will appreciate that you liked her illustrations. I'm off to watch your video. It sounds interesting.

James

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Erica Watson replied on Sep. 19, 2014 @ 20:01 GMT
Thanks for the compliments on my sketches! I had a lot of fun with those. :)

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Henri Vonn De Roule wrote on Sep. 14, 2014 @ 22:23 GMT
It is interesting to think of physics. I liked the idea you presented and math and physics can (mostly) be two sides of the same coin, although I think theoretical mathematicians would disagree.

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Erica Watson replied on Sep. 19, 2014 @ 20:15 GMT
Given that my area of study primarily IS theoretical math, I politely beg to differ. The math and the physics are, while perhaps not entirely isomorphic, certainly in a set/subset relationship, as I mentioned in an earlier comment. I believe that my personal hero, Emmy Noether, arguably one of the best theoretical mathematicians of our modern age, must have also recognized how incredibly closely tied the two are, else I doubt it would have held her interest long enough to produce her most famous theorem, which is a crowning jewel of both the math and physics communities. :)

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Stephane Durand wrote on Sep. 21, 2014 @ 16:44 GMT
I enjoyed a lot the part on Zeno's paradox !

Thanks for your comments on my video. I just voted for yours, and you got 10 community ratings!

stephane

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Erica Watson replied on Sep. 24, 2014 @ 13:03 GMT
Hi Stephane!

Thanks so much, both for your comments and the vote! James will be thrilled when he sees those. When he was first coming up with the script, I very much liked the Zeno's paradox thing myself, and enjoyed illustrating it, as well as helping James explain it.

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