Hi, I’m Jakob.
I think that revealing what makes nature tick at the most fundamental level is the most important and most fun thing in the world. This is why I spent almost all of my time thinking, reading and writing about physics.
A lot of people would love to learn more about theoretical physics, but unfortunately, too many become discouraged because they can’t grasp some of the concepts. Too many people think they aren’t smart enough. However, intelligence is not the problem here. Instead, the main reason so many struggle is that there are so many bad explanations floating around. Most authors don’t write to help the reader understand, but instead to appear super-smart.
Usually, when I come across a topic or concept that is labeled “highly complicated”, I become obsessed with finding a simple explanation. Sometimes the simple core of the topic is incredibly hard to find, but there is always one.
One of my favorite mantras is: “any scientist who [can’t] explain to an eight-year-old what he [is] doing [is] a charlatan.” Only when I’ve found a simple explanation, I have truly understood the topic.
I’ve never come across a concept or topic that is too complicated to understand. I don’t say this to brag in any way, because I’m certainly not smarter than most people. I say this to emphasize that everyone can understand everything if he finds an explanation that speaks a language he understands.
I write regularly about the simple explanations that I find for seemingly highly complicated concepts. In addition, I publish the notes I take when I stumble upon something interesting here. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned so far.
For a long time, as most students studying physics, I was completely bewildered by the multitude of concepts and equations in modern physics. While I was able to apply the equations and concepts to solve specific problems, I always had the troubling feeling that I don’t really understand.
It took me a long time to “see through the fog”, but eventually I started to see the connections. I was astonished when I noticed how beautiful and simple the concepts in modern physics are, if you look at them from the right perspective. The problem, as already mentioned, isn’t that modern physics is intrinsically complicated. Instead, the main difficulty is that the simple core behind most concepts is usually buried behind technicalities and formulas.
To help students understand the “Hows” and “Whys” behind the best theories of nature that we have, I wrote a textbook called “Physics from Symmetry”. It is basically the textbook I wished had existed when I started my journey in physics.
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