Contribution to Buzzfeed article!
I was asked to contribute to a Buzzfeed article titled I Asked 12 Scientists: What Is The One Fact Humanity Needs To Know?
Here’s my response:
"The simple act of sitting on the beach and watching the ocean tide can be enough to come up with a mathematical description that describes nearly all motion around us: from the orbits of planets in space to the vibrations of the sand between your toes (and even the billions and billions of atoms inside a grain of that sand). This model is called the harmonic oscillator model, where the motion of an object goes back and forth or up and down in a pattern known as a sinusoidal wave.
"Normally this is intuitive, and we see a lot of harmonic motion in real life: the pendulum inside a grandfather clock, the motion of a diving board, or the distinct sound of resonance when you turn up the bass in your car radio. However, many complex behaviours can also be described in a similar way, such as electronic circuits, the motion of individual atoms and molecules, and even quantum field theory. In fact, understanding the quantum harmonic oscillator model has been crucial for scientists to find ways to manipulate the motion of atoms, allowing research labs all over the world to regularly and easily create the coldest atoms in the universe."