The Gap between the World and Me

Quoting from Quora

“””Jay Wacker
Jay Wacker, physicist, phd+postdoc+faculty
Answered Feb 9

The thing that most people who don’t have a formal graduate education in physics don’t appreciate about modern physics is how far it is has come from the most modern thing they learned in classes — whether that is middle school, high school, freshman physics, or even an undergraduate degree in physics.

Most people’s education in modern physics ends around 1925 — which means that there is a century of physics that most people aren’t very familiar with. A century is a long time to be out of date in a field.

This century experienced an explosion in the number of physicists doing research. Before 1925 there were perhaps 1000 physicists doing research (maybe as little as a few hundred). Now there are close to 100,000. Now it’s not fair to say that every physicist contributes equally today as what a physicist in 1925 contributed, but that sheer amount of humanity working to understand the nature of physics does add up to amazing forward progress.

This gap between what people learn and the subject matter that physicists are actually working on is one of the greatest problems facing physics. That we haven’t gotten meaningful quantum mechanics into high school texts is a real shame.”””

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