From Our Readers
June 18, 2012 2:00 am

Yes, I’m here to tell you about (*deep breath*)… physics. No! Please don’t go! Hear me out!

Firstly, I am well aware you guys aren’t going to want to sit here and read about SUVAT equations and quite frankly, I can’t be bothered to write about them. Physics has a bad rep, I know, and sweaty teachers and scary equations really don’t help. But I’m begging you, get past that! There is a whole world (or even universe!) of physics out there beyond the confines of your cramped, smelly classroom and dog-eared textbooks if you give it a chance. I’ll try and keep it short, just promise me you’ll read to the end and I’ll leave you alone and give you some smarties* (*one of these may not be true). Deal? Deal!

Did you know that women earn only around a fifth of bachelor degrees and PhDs in physics? I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty shocking. That means that only a fifth of people exploring space, or sorting out the energy crisis, or discovering the origins of the universe are women! But why should we leave all that to the men? It’s not all pi and circuits, you know!

Physics is all around us. It’s in the cars we drive, it’s in the pens we write with, it’s in the keyboard I’m typing on and this is before exploring its relevance in popular culture and the cool ideas that are generated by it- real physicists are attempting to answer those brilliant questions like ‘Could a DeLorean travel through time?’ ‘What are these supermassive black holes Muse are going on about?’ and ‘Will the world really end this year?’ (Actually, that last one is a joke. It won’t. Unless some other catastrophic event the Mayans STILL COULD NEVER HAVE PREDICTED takes place). In ten years, you could quite possibly be discussing how a TARDIS could theoretically work with other like-minded people – I will not shy away from a cliché and yes, the possibilities are endless!

What sparked my interest in the subject was a combination of happening to pick up a book called The Science of Doctor Who and having two awesome physics teachers (one of whom, incidentally, almost accidentally killed Stephen Hawking). I may not be able to compensate for a lack of the latter, but I really hope that, just maybe, I could provide that first spark of inspiration to one person reading this that ‘The Science of Doctor Who’ was for me.

Thank you for your time,

Sarah Armstrong

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