This archived article was written by: Nathaniel Woodward
I’ve never cared for getting used to things. Growing up as the middle of seven children showed me that change is the only constant. Change whether in home life, academics or work has been one of the few constants in my life, which is an interesting concept. Change as the constant. The universe tends to follow the same principle as well. I write a column on science concepts in lifestyles in this issue, but you can never have enough science in your life, but to add additional insights as well as provide a little “change” I will make each editorial follow a different aspect of education i.e. history, archaeology, ecology, anthropology and music.
A century ago as Albert Einstein finished his education at Zurich Polytechnic, the young physicist struggled for several years trying to find a career either in academia or in the private sector using his specialized degree. It was held at the time that every grand concept of physics had already been discovered, which is understandable since Newton and Maxwell had long since died and any advancement in the field would be held against their hefty achievements.
As Einstein worked on getting paper’s published, which would soon change the way we view the universe, he desperately wanted to provide a grand theory or formula that could explain every natural occurrence neatly and simply. A theory of everything.
His work, together with those like Max Plank and Neils Bohr, began to show fruit, but not as they had expected. Instead of a universal constant, they found that as things became smaller, the laws that govern the motion of large objects such as planets and galaxies, began to break down into a universe of unpredictably. Quantum Physics was born out of the want for order, a field where order and predictability go out the window into exotic laws and uncertainty. Instead of despair, this universe of uncertainty brought excitement and huge leaps forward.
Without this uncertainty, we wouldn’t have made nearly as many technological advancements which we enjoy. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN not only gives us glimpses into our past, but as a direct result of its construction, you have the Internet. Where would we be without that nifty thing? Einstein desperately wanted an explanation that provided order and consistency to the chaos around him, but instead laid the groundwork for one of the greatest gifts the universe has given us, change.
When change decides to make its presence known in life, instead of reeling from the fear of uncertainty, move forward with excitement and looking forward to the possibilities it brings. From the Internet to the mind-boggling theories you study in class, the change it has wrought continues to benefit your life in ways you can’t imagine or fail to appreciate.