Time to wax poetic about a new scientific beauty:
You’ve heard of them. They are a set of four fundamental principles. They link up electricity and magnetism. And they are a few of my favorite equations. Feynman explains them far better than I can. But I’ll try to explain why I think they’re incredibly cool.
It’s best to learn them after you learn how to ‘see’ math equations. Which takes a bit of multivariable calculus. But after that, you can turn equations into mental artwork.
The equations are math ‘workers’. Feed them a picture of an electric field, and they’ll craft a magnetic counterpart. Feed them the right electric field, and light pops out.
They illustrate a symmetry. A wonderful, fundamental symmetry between two fundamental forces. (Well, almost. It would be perfect if we could find elusive physical phenomena termed ‘magnetic monopoles’. But more on that another time.)
Maxwell’s equations are elemental. They’re powerful. They underlie every bit of tech we’ve created. But they’re short, simple and beautiful, in a funny physics way. I think they’re our equivalent of ‘magic’. Learn to manipulate them, and you’ve mastered a fundamental force.
Maxwell’s equations sum up an entire field of physics. Imagine the intellect it took to condense them. I’d love to spend a day with Maxwell, Faraday, and Tesla. What would the world be like if we’d known how to extend the human healthspan while they were alive?
While we’re on the topic of formidable intellects, this is a great chance to say thanks. Thank you to the mentors who’ve done so much to help me get where I am now.
Thank you Cynthia Kenyon and Jasper Rine for introducing me to biology. Every time I get excited about glowing cells, or Mendel’s tragic tale, I think of you.
Thank you Wes Beach, and MIT, for a wonderful two years in college. And thank you Adrian Slusarczyk, for an incredible lab mentorship.
Thank you family, for the loving support. And thank you Peter Thiel and the 20under20 foundation.
Science is too cool. Maybe I should be a physicist.