• Question: what is your favourite part of particles physics and why?

    Asked by knit354bat to Savannah on 17 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Savannah Clawson

      Savannah Clawson answered on 17 Jun 2019:

      I think my favourite thing about particle physics is that the rules of the very small world of particles are so different from the classical rules that we are used to in every day life! Small objects like particles are ruled by the theory of quantum mechanics – a theory so crazy that no one believed it could possibly be true when it was first created. Even the great scientist Einstein refused to accept quantum mechanics for years and years because it seemed so ridiculous to him! He famously stated that “God does not play dice with the universe”, referring to the fact that nothing in quantum mechanics is certain, we have to rely on probabilities to describe how the world works. Niels Bohr, who is known as the father of quantum mechanics, is thought to have said “If quantum mechanics hasn’t shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet”. So yeah, it’s a crazy theory but it seems to describe the most fundamental parts of our universe very well, which I think is pretty cool.