Thursday, November 15, 2007
Ghosts of Studies Past
The only trouble with college physics was its computational and conceptual complexity. If not for the math and the mind-bending concepts, it would have been a perfectly lovely subject, like anthropology. I don't recall what other courses I took along with physics, but suffice to say that my second calculus class convinced me that I had studied enough math in my lifetime.
So I gave physics the required attention during the semester, but then the subject was resoundingly neglected.
Imagine my surprise then, when I found that what I know about physics would be important to me as a novelist. It is a bit like opening the fridge and finding a chipmunk snacking on a slice of provolone. One thinks, roughly, "where did that come from?"
I am doing research on astronomy for some books I plan to write. The earth's magnetic fields, the gravitational pull between planets, and a number of other concepts smack of Physics 101. So as I take notes and recall formulas, I think...the university was right; I do need to know this information. All I had to do was become a writer for it to be important again.