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What got you started studying physics? - Jan 24, 2007 at 2:13PM
Dave Avatar
San Marcos, Texas
354 Posts

Was there a person in your life that inspired you to study physics?  A teacher or a relative, perhaps?  Maybe there was an event that you can identify that was the motivator for you to study physics.  We want to hear about these people or events!  Submit a description in your own words (200 or less).  Up to three winners will be chosen by The Nucleus staff, and will receive a choice of t-shirt from the SPS store.  Entries must be submitted to this forum by March 1, 2007.


Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value -- Albert Einstein

Replies to What got you started studying physics?

Re: What got you started studying physics? - Feb 23 2007 1:57AM
Oliver Hakizimana
10 Posts

As ridiculous as it sounds, i decided to focus my studies on physics while in a college prep program, as a result of a pact i made with a classmate.  Since then, i've come to become completely engulfed by what the world of physics has to offer. I use physical terms during all areas of conversation; even to make sense of the most mundane of subjects. I may not have plans to pursue the study of physics to a degree that would make me one with the subject, but the subject flows through my bloodstream; and i'm not talking about fluid dynamics.

Re: What got you started studying physics? - Feb 27 2007 12:40AM
Priscilla Pamela
1 Posts

Well... as silly as it may sound, it was "Silverhawks!" the cartoon. I used to watch them when I was 9 or 10 (in spanish!) and at the end of each episode there was a question about Astronomy and almost all the time I used to get it right. Somehow, at that point I told my mom that I wanted to become an Astronomer and work for NASA someday.

Things have changed a bit since then: to do Astronomy I found out I needed to do Physics... then as an Undergrad I took interest in Nuclear Physics and by the end of my Senior year I became very involved with Physics Education so I decided to pursue a career in PER.

It's a shame that cartoons like that don't exist anymore, nowadays kids want to live in a Pinapple under the sea and wear "Square Pants", hopefully some of them might want to build a secret science lab in their room like Dexter... who knows what they will be inspired to do!

Re: What got you started studying physics? - Feb 28 2007 9:53PM
Jason Moore
1 Posts

First I was an avid chemistry student.  Then, I hardly new what physics was nor could I have been able to fathom the depths of what I have started to learn this year in my physics class.  However, this year I had a free period so I went out on a limb and signed up for AP Physics C.   It has been quite a challenge!  If I had known how rigorous it would be, I would have signed for Physics Honors!

However during this year, physics has taken hold of mind and captivated it.  It grabbed me and I grabbed back.   At this point during 16 out 24 hours of the day, my mind is on physics, the other 8 are for sleeping, and even then some physics ideas creep into my dreams.  

Also instrumental to my enthusiasm for physics is my physics teacher.  S/he has been extremely supportive and really fostered my love for physics in general, but mostly mechanics and electrodynamics.  S/he is also a great mentor and a great teacher whom I can turn to for all of my  physics problems.

Equally important is the school's advanced chemistry teacher who cultivated my love for physical sciences.

Post edited on February 28, 2007 at 10:01 PM EST.

Post edited on February 28, 2007 at 10:23 PM EST.

Re: Re: What got you started studying physics? - Mar 08 2007 8:35PM
Jennifer Nalley Avatar
Jennifer Nalley
Texas State San Ma...
20 Posts

I was the only child. My first memory that could possibly be considered forshadowing is of when I was 4 or 5 andI was unable to sleep. I could not stop thinking, "If there was nothing, than what would there be?"

As far back as I remember, my Dad was my best buddy. His philosophy about parenting was atypical. He thought it was arrogant to attempt to "mold" someone. He was the one who told me that "because I told you so", is not a good enough reason. He encouraged me to ask "why?" The only sexist thing he ever said to me, and believes to this day, is that girls are smarter than boys.

My Dad nurtured my curiousity. We played with bugs, sometimes not so nicely, but converging lenses are especially fun when you get to set things on fire. Especially ants. We found rocks, played with mercury, climbed trees, and stood on the edge of cliffs.

There were many " Your Mom might not like this"( his way of saying lets not tell her, or she will kill me).

I grew up confident. I was the pretty girl in pink...covered in mud. A girly tomboy. I liked my dolls, and knives, stickers and firecrackers, kittens and spiders.
My friends were usually the boys. I could  kiss them or beat them up if I wanted.

The chronic curiousity never left. I still want to know why. I often think that I am still a child in many ways.

So here I am, trying to understand.

a.k.a.- Pixie Tourette # i (imaginary number) Hotrod Honeys Texas Rollergirls

Re: What got you started studying physics? - Mar 13 2007 3:06PM
Jennifer Nalley Avatar
Jennifer Nalley
Texas State San Ma...
20 Posts

How about you Dr. D?

a.k.a.- Pixie Tourette # i (imaginary number) Hotrod Honeys Texas Rollergirls

Re: What got you started studying physics? - Mar 30 2007 11:09AM
Daniel Schaeffer
2 Posts

Throughout my education since childhood I have always loved science and I have performed significantly better in areas of science and math than English, writing, and similar areas. I remember thinking a few times while in elementary school "wouldn't it be cool to be a scientist", but I never thought I would pursue a degree or career in such a field.

What really sparked my interest in physics was my high school physics class during my junior year. Although I must admit I didn't always perform as well as I could have throughout this particular course, I would always find myself reading the textbook beyond the assigned reading and spending hours studying chapters we would never even get too.

After graduation for some reason I entered college into the computer science department. After two semesters I found myself displeased with what I was learning and wanting a change. I remembered back to my high school physics class and how much fun and interesting it was. I applied to the physics department, began my coursework in physics and have never looked back since.

Re: What got you started studying physics? - Apr 01 2007 10:14AM
Katherine Avatar
University of Loui...
6 Posts

As a requirement to graduate from my high school, we had to complete a two week internship.  We could do anything...the possibilities were endless.  And there was so much to choose from!  My calculus teacher, Mrs. Lafleur, found this to be the perfect opportunity to set me up with physics.  I had always had an interest in science and math, and I was considering studying engineering.  I didn't even think about physics as being a viable major.  But Mrs. Lafleur showed me otherwise by arranging my internship at the National Center for Physics Acoustics at the University of Mississipi.  It was a great experience!  I was one of the few students to go out of town for the internship and was the only one to work at a national lab.  My presentation blew everyone out of the water when I began talking about RUS, Resonant Ultrasound Spectroscopy.

Picking a major in college was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make.  But I knew I made the right decision after the first freshman seminar with Dr. Meriwether, the head of the physics department.  He is now my research advisor and a big inspiration for me.