What's This?

OK.  There's a lot I want to say here.  "Science" in its most general sense, has always been important to me.  My first love is Physics but I'm also very interested in Maths and Biology.  Pretty much any of the so-called "hard sciences" (except Chemistry, shudder) and technology too.  Another major interest is Horology -- the Science of Clocks and Watches and Time.

Physics dominated my scholastic life from the start of High School to Graduation from University with a Master of Science degree in Theoretical Physics (after which Computer Science took over.) There's more I want to say about Physics, but in the meantime I'll just tell you about my "Physics epiphany".  I wish I could recall the details better, but it goes something like this: one day in class we derived, from first principles, the matrix form of the Schrödinger equation which represented a particle as the super-position of an up-spin and a down-spin.  Next, we derived the matrix which represented the operation of measuring the particle's spin.   Then we multiplied the equation and the matrix.  When we were done cancelling terms we were left with an equation for the particle in a particular spin state.   Just as Quantum Theory says, the act of measuring the particle "changed" it -- forced it into a specific state.  Cool.

I've heard people being asked "Who are you heros?"  Apparently, everyone's supposed to have one or two.  The closest I have is Richard Feynman.   Perhaps not exactly a hero to me, but someone I admire.

Mathematics has always gone hand-in-hand with Physics.  For as long as I was studying Physics (and that was a long time), I was also studying Maths.  I actually enjoy it, I find algebra etc fun and generally Mathematics doesn't scare me at all.   I love getting my hands on a mathematical problem.  I should point out however, that mathematical "puzzles" don't interest me and I'm no good at mental arithmetic.   Don't ask me to recite the times-tables.  I'll calculate a tip if I have to, but it may take a while.  Maths is simply a tool for solving problems and I'm more than happy to use a calculator to do the grunt work.

I studied a great deal of Maths at University and most of it has faded.  I do recall my "Maths epiphany" though -- sitting in the Library doing a Calculus assignment, computing by Volumes of Rotation the volume of a cone then looking it up in the Eton tables and finding I was correct.   Woo-hoo!

Biology could easily have been my career path.  I did it all the way to Scholarship level as a 7th Former at High School but was too lazy to do a double major at University, so Physics won.  One of the great things about High School Biology was that girls took it too.  Whereas, one of the not-so-great things about University Physics was how few women took it.   I'm still fascinated by it and I love the concept of Evolution (and embrace it whole-heartedly).   Is Artificial Life a combination of Biology and Computing?  If so, my fascination with that cleverly combines two interests.   I don't think I have a "Biology epiphany" for you (unless it involves Jenny somehow).

Horology is the study of time and timekeeping.  I love clocks and watches; they're a perfect blend of Science and Art.  There's serious science involved in making an accurate watch (mechanical that is, anyone can stamp out a reasonably accurate quartz watch) and I hope to show you some beautiful watches & clocks here sometime.