[ExI] Physics and Searching for the Perfect Wave

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Tue Aug 7 12:03:28 UTC 2007

Another in Sabine's ("Bee") Inspiration series on backreaction: Garrett Lisi



B: Okay, so among all the possibilities to show off, why physics and surfing?

       G: Because they're the hardest? No, actually, physics and surfing
       aren't about showing off. I've always been intrigued by the
       relationship between mathematics and nature. In school, we learn
       the math first, then later we learn some physics and see that the
       math relates to what happens in the world. Then we learn more
       complicated math -- calculus, group theory, differential geometry,
       and so on -- and see how this all connects up and describes how
       the universe works; it's quite wonderful. I got hooked. And the
       surfing... surfing really nice waves is simply the most fun one
       can have on this planet.

       We have these big brains, and a limited amount of time. So what to
       do? A lot of people spend their time making money, sometimes with
       the hope that they'll be able to do what they want after they make
       it. But you never get that time back. Theoretical physics is the
       most abstractly beautiful and challenging pursuit there is. It's
       what I want to spend my time thinking about, so that's what I do.

       But all thinking and no action would make for a dull life. So I

  A lot.





Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
Associate Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute (PSI), Tucson
INAF Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI), Roma, Italia

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