Why?

By | April 19, 2013

About the below, about all the time spent understanding QM, some people ask, “Why bother? What does that gain you?”

Well, ignoring even the simple joy of understanding something for its own sake, I know why the sun shines. Not just some vague guess – I know exactly why. I know why photons are emitted, and under what conditions, and how a star keeps from collapsing under its own mass.

I know why my hand doesn’t pass through the desk when I “touch” it, even though it’s mostly just empty space.

I understand why an element is an element, and why there are elements in the first place.

Knowing QM enough to reason in its counterintuitive way won’t help you make more money at work, or to repair your car, but when you look out at the universe or even at your own hand, you’ll understand more about the world than most people who have ever lived.

If that isn’t cool or worth doing, I don’t know what is. I know how the sun shines. How many people in recorded history can say that?