I’m an amateur science geek. I started a science degree – specialising in physics – with the Open University a few years ago, for fun. (I haven’t finished it yet – business got in the way – but I’m going back to it when I have leisure to.)
So imagine my excitement when I saw the news that scientists had finally managed to photograph light as both a wave and a particle!
What’s that? You can’t imagine my excitement? Well, I’m excited.
Because this is huge in physics.
Ever since Einstein was rocking the science world with his crazy hairdo, scientists have been trying to directly observe light’s dual behaviour as a particle and a wave.
We’ve known that for a long time, but nobody has ever been able to devise an experiment that could capture it. We’ve seen it as a wave or as a particle, but never, until now, as both at once.
You can read all about the experiment itself here, if you’re interested – thanks to Tania for pointing me in this direction.
You might be thinking, “So what? It’s pretty nifty, but what does it mean for the world?”
Well, I’m a big advocate of finding stuff out for the sake of it… But it’s useful beyond simple curiosity, too: it’s opened up a whole new world of quantum computing, and that really could change the world for the better.
This is why I love scientific enquiry, and why it’s so frustrating when people question the validity of, say, exploring Mars or the Moon, or spending time on “silly” experiments like the best way to make coffee. The thinking that leads to that type of questioning is incredibly blinkered and shallow, because we often have no idea what useful stuff might crop up from it.
German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen was messing around with cathode ray tubes in his lab in 1895, when he noticed a strange glow some distance away. He thought some new type of radiation might be responsible and called them “X-rays” (X for unknown).
He discovered they could pass through paper, wood, and even skin — and the very first X-ray was of his wife’s hand.
(Cool anecdote: when she saw the picture, she said, “I have seen my own death!”)
Now, X-rays save lives every day.
I’m all for trying stuff out, because you never know what might happen. Failure, much of the time, for sure. Most of what I try out in my business doesn’t work – or at least, not right away.
What you’re seeing is the result of trying new stuff, and never giving up – even when I really bloody want to.
I feel stuck all the time. But I don’t stay stuck.
How about you? If you’re stuck, Borrow My Brain for half an hour. I’ll get you unstuck. Guaranteed.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS I’ve got a video for you tomorrow, in which I’ll dissect a direct mail I received. And in which I’m shivering, because we’ve just run out of heating oil…