Doing Things Wrong

When you learn about physics in a classroom, you are encouraged to jam information into your head and just remember as much as possible. This makes you stop wondering what makes all of those pieces of information useful and they start to seem like objective facts. But that takes away so much of the fun of physics.

 

Physics is not a set of objective facts about how stuff works. The whole point is that any theory can be disproven, and in order to get to that point of disproving previous ideas, you often have to make a lot of mistakes along the way. I’m growing to understand more and more in real life research that being wrong or doing things wrong is the fastest way to growth in some respects.

 

The other day I spent about 3 hours searching through literature to find the parameters which would fit a model another student and I are working on to fit to our data. After I finally found the information I needed, the other student let me know they found a better model to use from an old paper and we didn’t need the stuff I just spent ages looking for. But the important part is not to get frustrated that you wasted your time or are behind, but instead to focus on the fact that your research is moving forward.

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