patrickandrews + feynman   17

What Is Science?
Very much later, when I was doing experiments in the laboratory--I mean my own home laboratory, fiddling around--no, excuse me, I didn't do experiments, I never did; I just fiddled around. Gradually, through books and manuals, I began to discover there were formulas applicable to electricity in relating the current and resistance, and so on. One day, looking at the formulas in some book or other, I discovered a formula for the frequency of a resonant circuit, which was f = 1/2 pi LC, where L is the inductance and C the capacitance of the... circle? You laugh, but I was very serious then. Pi was a thing with circles, and here is pi coming out of an electric circuit. Where was the circle? Do those of you who laughed know how that comes about?

I have to love the thing. I have to look for it. I have to think about it. And then I realized, of course, that the coils are made in circles. About a half year later, I found another book which gave the inductance of round coils and square coils, and there were other pi's in those formulas. I began to think about it again, and I realized that the pi did not come from the circular coils. I understand it better now; but in my heart I still don't know where that circle is, where that pi comes from.
feynman  science  education 
june 2014 by patrickandrews

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