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Tag Archives: adult learner

Everything is a Metaphor for Something Else

I studied mathematics and then physics part time as an adult. So for me it was somewhat of a relief that pretty much the only two math equations I needed to know in physics were the wave equation

Illustration of a Spherical wave

and the heat equation

Illustration of the Heat equation

(It was a little more complicated than that, but I am trying use a story to illustrate a larger truth.) Even the two equations, ‘wave’ and ‘heat’, seemed to resemble one another.

What I learned in Intermediate Mechanics class applied to Electricity and Magnetism; Introduction to Quantum Mechanics applied to Digital Communications. Every course I took seemed to take the previous course as a metaphor and build on it. Heat flow was like diffusion, which was like semiconductor physics, which was like the national weather patterns I saw on TV.

To me, as an adult learner, this seemed strangely wonderful… If everything was a metaphor for something else, then could the universe be sort of like a humongous self-referential Escher drawing?

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