confession of a physicist

So, I wrote my last post in response to the dVerse prosery prompt, which was to write up to 144 words of prose including  the line “I am bombarded yet I stand”. Then I thought I’d better actually read the poem by Adrienne Rich, “Planetarium”, that the line comes from.  And I wrote this as my proseyness instead: 

XXXXXX

XXXXXXI have a confession:

I don’t like astronomy. I find it really boring.

Go on, gasp in horror. Judge me soulless.

It’s like I’m saying koalas are ugly – because astronomy is the koala of the sciences, that everyone coos over and says “wow! amazing!”.

(Ever seen koalas mating? It’s violent. And they carry chlamydia…   Just sayin’)

This is the most interesting astronomy “fact” I could find: 1011  neutrinos from the sun pass through every square centimetre of me each second. I am bombarded, yet I stand. In fact, I .don’t. .even. .bloody. .notice.

Yet if you take away my phone (thankyou solid state physics – the phytoplankton of the science world, unnoticed but crucial to everyday life), I’ll be on my knees begging you to give it back.

(…hmmm….  and how come so many of my astronomer friends look kinda like koalas?)

46 Comments

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46 responses to “confession of a physicist

  1. very wry, Kate 😀
    well done!


    David

  2. If you ate that many neutrinos for breakfast, you’d be an iron woman… so I’ve heard.

  3. … *sad* but somehow I don’t believe your confession. Yet, I accept it. Still, I will always remember it was you who educated me about the other side of the moon being hot: faces Mercury. That is mine to remember you by. Thanks for this. You are funny, too. xoxo

    • Hi Selma 🙂
      It was me that said the full moon rises at sunset, but it wouldn’t have been me that said the other side of the moon faces Mercury. I’m pretty sure that can’t be the case.
      My confession is not entirely true – I do like orbital mechanics because it provides some nice examples for the mechanics that I teach. 🙂
      ❤ K

      • *slaps face* Oh, my bad, then. Sorry.
        … can’t be? And I already bragged to my family about knowing something they didn’t. Oh my. I gotta set things straight.
        Thanks, Kate. xoxo

        • I really need a white board for this… stay tuned, and I’ll put in a post about orbits.
          But in the first instance, note that Mercury is in a closer orbit than Earth. And only about half the time, is the face of the moon that points away from us, pointing in towards the sun. So only about half the time is it pointing towards the path of Mercury’s orbit. And most of that time, Mercury is not directly between the Earth and sun anyway. So, it would be uncommon for the other side of the moon to be pointing towards Mercury.

        • Thanks 🙏 for this: respect ✊ 🤗

      • Hey, is the earth still flat? lol

        • every time you use F = mg you’re saying it is – because only a flat earth gives a uniform gravitational field. So that’s pretty much every physics student and teacher who believes in a flat earth. To a first approximation, at least.

  4. I love this juicy confession so much! And the koala facts too were also very amusing!

  5. Ha! (How many astronomer friends do you have? Or maybe that number is dropping)

  6. An interesting take on the prompt! I love the way scientists make fun of each other: it’s all magic to us ‘lay’ people 🤣

  7. You brought a smile to my face! Always a difficult task in the morning😉

  8. Ain

    Haha! I enjoyed that…sardonic stuff.

  9. I enjoyed this very much! Great job, Kate. And the koalas! 🤣

  10. Beverly Crawford

    My high opinion of koalas has taken a hit!! This site is so educational!

  11. Thanks for this terrific piece, nudging me outta my listless writing-less malaise

  12. fireblossom32

    I already loved this, but then that closing made me laugh out loud. Fantastic. Oh, and I would be remiss if I did not mention how seamlessly you worked in that awkward required phrase. Well done!

  13. Such depth of feeling. Well done. 🙂

  14. It is time for you to have a holiday away from your phone.

  15. Ha.. as a fellow physicist I had to laugh… and though I prefer the intricate solid-state matters astronomy can never be boring in my book.

    I also left physics, and now I work in business… but I can see myself teaching too.

    • Now and then I look at job ads, but as I do volunteer teaching as well as my job, I figure I must like it enough that I should stick with academia. 😀 But the reporting requirements are getting mad – I can’t believe the staff hours that go into admin processes. It can’t possibly be that bad in business.

  16. writingwhatnots

    Brilliant and funny. (I, too, will never look at Koalas in the same way!)

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