Is love more math or chemistry

Youth research 2017 About the misunderstood magic of math, physics and chemistry

With thoughts on "light, life and love", Prof. Ernst Peter Fischer opened the "Jugend forscht" regional competition 2017 in Leipzig on Wednesday. But what do these three wonderful, realistic things have to do with the natural sciences? With math, physics and chemistry?

Light is mysterious, life is mysterious, and love is mysterious, and so are science.

Prof. Ernst Peter Fischer

When a student hears this, he is right to ask what is supposed to be mysterious about math or physics. This is exactly where Prof. Ernst Peter Fischer, himself a mathematician and physicist, sees the problem at school:

It is always communicated that you know something. So I know what light is, I know what an atom is. I know all of this. You don't know everything and there is still so much to discover.

Prof. Ernst Peter Fischer

We rob things of their secrets and their magic without need, laments Fischer. Even Einstein, who dealt with light for 50 years, could only determine that light has both wave and particle properties at the same time. Although both cannot be possible from a purely logical point of view.

Albert Einstein said: Today every scoundrel thinks he knows what light is. But he's wrong!

Prof. Ernst Peter Fischer

We have to understand, says Fischer, that we can never really understand things. That we are constantly looking for new questions. This is the only thing that makes our life and the natural sciences such as mathematics or physics so attractive. He is convinced that there is nothing more exciting than secrets and nothing more boring than things that you already know.

There is no tension, if you know who the murderer is in the detective novel, then the tension is over.

Prof. Ernst Peter Fischer

But everyday life at school is knowing the killer in order to stay in the picture. So no trace of tension.

You have to know Newton's Law, you have to know Mendel's Law, and then you pray them down. And on the way home you forgot her again. The exams should be abolished. A teacher needs to evaluate the quality of a student through the interview. Because our culture is revealed in dialogue.

Prof. Ernst Peter Fischer

Fischer dreams of the pupils looking forward to a dialogue with their teachers in the morning. That they go to school with a sack full of questions and say goodbye with the sentence: "Bye! I'm going to deepen secrets again today."

on the radio | 03/10/2017 | 09:51 am