I have an affinity for science March 25, 2008
This has been apparent since I started learning about science, besides biology. I'm up the latest I've been up for the past month or so. It's 2 AM. Bear with me.
I was always also pretty good at math. No genius, but kind of quick to catch on. This was displayed in first grade when I was moved from the B class to the A class in Math. I was 6. This also was evident when instead of learning long division the way the teachers would teach it, I taught myself a way to do it without writing even a quarter as much as the teacher's method. I taught this to a kid in the class who was having problem doing it, and he got in trouble because he didn't "do all the math". But it gave right answers. I never got in trouble.
Then after about 8 years of video games (Nintendo and Sega Genesis mainly), by the time I was 14, I knew that I wanted to make video games, but didn't know what to learn to be able to do that. In the meantime, I was still in first track math, getting 95s or so without trying much, acing Geometry and Trig, doing good in calculus. When I was a junior, I had to start thinking about college, and had no idea what I wanted to do besides make video games, which I hadn't researched at all.
So, instead, I was doing good in chemistry and generally enjoying it, so in my Junior year, I wanted to be a chemist. The next year, I learned physics, was really good at it, and highly enjoyed it. Although, I was only in 2nd track physics. So I wanted to be a physicist. Either of these two would have been a disaster, I think, compared to what I did end up taking.
In college, still looking to fill that gaping void, I took a few physics classes, including astronomy. Today, I still can't get enough physics. With the advent of the internet, and podcasts, I listen to all things physics and astronomy, including Astronomy Cast. But not only podcasts. Audiobooks are like 4 hours long. I have 18.7 hours worth, including three Stephen Hawking books, and one by the Dalai Lama, which is called "The Universe in a Single Atom", which is just a history of his studies and learnings from various minds in theoretical physics.
The only things is I'm not smart enough to come up with my own theories or even begin to understand some of the more complex theories out there. There's not math in those books, though, just theories or almost proven theories, but no math to back them up. Which is fine, I'd be completely lost since I haven't had a math course in years. The way they explain it is good. The current Astronomy Cast is "What shape is the Universe?" I just get so completely lost thinking about it. You might be able to come up with any shape as long as you can come up with a bit of evidence to prove it. I can say, "When you step away from the universe and look at it, it spells 'Jason'".
And talking about 11 parallel universes. A universe that is always expanding. And every object in space, every other galaxy we see is moving away from us, but we're not in the center. There is no center. And is it finite?
The big bang. How when the universe "started", it started as a point with a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion grams per square centimeter or whatever. My one theory is this... I imagine multiple big bangs in the past, but each time, the universe collapsed on itself. So there's no way to know just how old the universe is because each time it started over. Time started over. Einstein, move over :)
If you think about that, multiple big bangs, but this universe is always expanding now... it means that in the past big bangs there was more mass in the universe that gravity made it eventually come back together. After billions and billions of years. But what happened to that mass that now it's expanding with no collapse in sight? I don't know that there's no collapse in sight, though. If the acceleration of the expansion of the universe is slowing down, then it will collapse again. Of course I don't know that this isn't already a theory since I don't read or listen enough, and anything that Hawking doesn't discuss has since been ignored. But I'll take credit for it :)
Just wrapping my head around those ideas; the infiniteness of the universe, the shape, the center. How instead of Newton's theory of gravity where objects PULL other objects to them, instead there's wells created in space. How nothing in space travels in a straight line, not even light, since it gets warped by these divots in space created by mass. It might keep me up later thinking about it, but I wouldn't venture to call myself even an amateur theoretical physicist, maybe not even a hobbyist, I just want to understand. But Astronomy Cast says some of it is the most difficult ideas to understand. Well, I love a challenge.