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Blog

Do you consider yourself a physicist?

By Margaret Harris

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A fortnight ago our weekly Facebook poll asked:

How often do you use physics at work?

The most common answer by far, with 62 out of 80 votes (about 78%) was “a lot – practically every day”.

Given our readership, such a response was hardly surprising, but a few of those who voted with the majority wondered if the poll even made sense. As a reader with the intriguing alias of “Grannie Cool” observed, “Everything is physics, so that’s a loaded question!” while Ahmed Al Bashir pointed out that even human behaviour seems to obey the laws of action and reaction. The most creative response came from the Twitter user @Timewrapper, who claimed that they use the principle of energy conservation every day – by sleeping all day long. Let’s hope their boss isn’t reading this.

Some of the minority responses were also interesting. We particularly liked the one from someone at a company that makes merino outdoor gear, who informed us that one of the company’s partners has an MPhys, “but on a day-to-day basis, it hasn’t much relevance”.

Which leads us nicely into this week’s poll, which is:

Do you consider yourself a physicist?

You can vote here and in the best Facebook tradition, the possible answers are “yes”, “no” and “it’s complicated”. (If you place yourself in the third category, we’d really like to know why!) We’ll discuss the answers next week, and they’ll also help inform our October special section on careers for physics graduates.

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