Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Theoretical Physics is NOT Always Esoteric!

This is another example where people think "theoretical physics" deals only in some esoteric, non-applicable physics such as elementary particles, high energy physics, etc.. etc. And unfortunately, people that were interviewed in this article didn't help much to kill the misconception!

"We're not going to see dark matter in Starbucks anytime soon," laughs Tim Meyer, head of Strategic Planning & Communications, adding it's okay to wonder if theoretical physics has practical uses.

Oy vey.

I've already made my reply to correct this misconception in another blog entry on people wanting to do "theoretical physics" but not realizing that that statement actually is rather vague. I think physicists should be quick to correct such misconception, because not only does it harm our field (i.e. a lot of theoretical physics HAVE direct implications to our everyday lives, AND have direct uses!), it also insults many theorists who are working on areas that have practical applications, which, the last time I checked, outnumbered those working in the esoteric fields.

We can correct things a little at a time, which is why we shouldn't miss such opportunities when they appear.


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