PHYSICS is the discipline of studying a limited subset of reality, formed by the fundamental building blocks and principles of physical Nature, where it either is:
- Feasible to find patterns that can be encoded mathematically, or
- It does not make sense, or have any useful application, to study them in another way.
In both definitions, different aspects of the DIFFICULTY in UNDERSTANDING physics are revealed, as follows:
- The skill to CALCULATE using mathematically encoded patterns involves learning mathematics
- The skill to ENCODE MATHEMATICALLY involves learning mathematics
- A lot of people struggle to spot PATTERNS that help to solve Sudoku puzzles, let alone encode NATURE mathematically.
- The word DISCIPLINE comes to mind. As in:
Most people don’t have either the monastic or scholastic or academic or logical DISCIPLINE to abide by MATHEMATICAL rules of engagement to DISCOVER and USE mathematically encoded patterns.
People find Physics hard to understand in large part because they do NOT UNDERSTAND what Physics IS, and ISN’T.
They want Physics to explain problems that it quite simply doesn’t, in a format and a language that is NOT the format and language of Physics.
So, summing up, Physics is hard to understand because:
- It requires discipline.
- It requires learning mathematics.
- It requires knowing what Physics is. And isn’t.
- It requires abandoning BIASES AND NARRATIVES for PATTERNS that can be encoded MATHEMATICALLY and used to make predictions about related phenomena.
Physics and mathematics speak the same language, but other than that the goals and methods of each are completely different. Mathematics is a beautiful and infinitely rich field, but it is not fundamentally concerned with the inner workings of the universe. Physics is about looking at reality and poking it from all different angles in order to find a good way to model it. Then that model is carried to its logical conclusions using the language of mathematics, and those conclusions are tested. Rinse and repeat forever and ever, constantly refining or revolutionizing the way we think about the physical world.