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What makes physiscists wierd?

Besides spherical cows (I prefer the spherical chicken), physicists tend to stand out as wierd in how they approach problems. Chad Orzel has a post on Think like a physicist that delves into the matter.

” the various scientific fields have a lot in common, and a generally reductive approach is one of those things. Scientists in general tend to look at a big problem as a bunch of little problems that can be individually attacked and then combined to provide some answer to the larger issue. … But I think there are some differences in fundamental approach that set the different fields of science apart from one another, though I find them kind of hard to articulate … physicists, even more than other scientists, are inclined to abstract things away to get to the simplest and most universal principles. Even when that means that we end up working mostly with idealizations and first-order approximations.”

Not the rigor of a mathematician nor the hand waving of a humanities argument, the physicist is somewhere in between. Unlike an engineer who needs a solution that is good enough to build something, a physicist is looking for a solution that is good enough to lend some insight into a phenomena.

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