So, there's this character in my novel who is a scientist. A physicist, to be exact, though she is in love with her organic chemistry professor...but I digress. She's still in college, but she's a true scholar of physics...which is so, so, so not me that it can be hard to make her sound legit. I took Physics for Poets at Vandy and barely got a B.
She's reading up about Wolfgang Pauli's exclusion principle. I would prefer to have her reading Pauli directly, but since I'm not sure that the man ever actually wrote a book about his Nobel-winning principle, I figure it's safer to have her reading about him. Because that someone has to have covered.
I picked Pauli and his exclusion principle out of a web-page full of scientists and their discoveries because I think his could tie thematically in with my book. (Remember? There are no accidents?)
So I've read the exclusion principle definition about five times, ignoring those scary equations, and this is what I understand: he explained why things don't sink into things, but light and radiation can pass through. Like, we can stand on the ground and not be squished together, because we are separate because of the quantum way all those protons/neutrons/electrons move, but light and radiation can pass through because they're different. I don't know why, exactly, but something to do with atomic structure, perhaps. But anyway, that's what he did.
I could have referred to my bookmarked wilkipedia definition, but that right up there is honestly what I retained after five re-reads.
She had to be a physicist.
And what do physicists do, precisely? Things in labs? Because she wants to go to graduate school for physics and bless my little humanities heart, but I have no idea what she might do there--besides wear a lab coat and hold test tubes.
Hectic week before Gulf Coast vacation:
3 weeks ago