Favorite physics theory
Posted by Melissa on October 17, 2008
I’ve been participating in the Adopt-a-Physicist program, and I just got a great question from a student in one of the high school classes that adopted me. The question is, What is your favorite physics theory? I found that to be quite thought-provoking. Here was my off-the-cuff response:
“I think in terms of its fundamental beauty my favorite theory is Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory, in which 4 mathematical equations capture the essence of electricity and magnetism. This was the beginning of physicists’ efforts to try to find a few unifying principles for describing nature, which continues today. In addition, it was in considering Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory that Einstein got his inspiration to develop the theory of special relativity.”
Anyone else want to share their favorite physics theory? And can you explain why you like it at a level that is appropriate for a high school student just starting physics?