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Fundamentals of Science: What You Know vs What You Think You Know

One the few things from my time in university that stuck with me was a question our Physics lecture asked us.

“If you were to travel back a couple of centuries back, would your physics knowledge have an impact on the world?”

This might seem like an obvious yes question but it’s not. See unlike in the movie Hot Tub Time Machine, you can’t go back to the 1500s and say you want to start Google and change the world.

With science, you have to know and understand the fundamentals, from its core building blocks up to its applications.

There’s no doubt our knowledge of electricity, computers, and vehicles could be beyond revolutionary for the 1500s but without you knowing the exact science behind it, then that knowledge isn’t worth much.

Now whenever I learn something new in science and engineering, I always ask myself if whether I know it well enough that even if I was thrown back in time, I could theorize it, test, prove and apply it in the real world.

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