My Favorite Website!

5 Dec

It’s not about cars. Neither is it about sports. Not even music. In fact, it probably sounds like the most boring website in the world — or perhaps the universe, if you’re convinced of extraterrestrial life. It’s called “Ask a Mathematician/Ask a Physicist”,  and you can find it at: www.askamathematician.com

So how could such a boring website be my favorite? For starters, the website is geared towards those who have an interest in math/physics to begin with, which I do. The writers make posts (much like a blog) based on questions emailed to them, and there’s a comments section for each post. What makes this website interesting is how the writers go about the topics. Rather than using scientific terms and talking about complicated formulas, they explain concepts using simple language and images/animations to get the point across to the average Joe.

To give you an idea of why this website is super awesome, I’ll use a metaphor. Think about the strenuous process that goes into making coffee. There’s a plant that takes forever to grow, then someone has to collect the beans, store them, grind them, and eventually brew what’s left to make a cup of coffee. A process that takes many, many months. A coffee addict like yours truly, only cares about the cup of coffee, which takes a few minutes to drink. The same idea is true with “Ask a Mathematician”, as it gives you the final and most practical results of years of science experiments carried out in laboratories. And it’s not boring. For example, in a post like “Could Kurt Voneget’s ‘Ice-9 catastrophe’ happen?”  , the writers respond to a sci-fi phenomenon based on actual physics, without all the math and physics that will bore every single one of us. I seriously doubt even Einstein looked forward to solving equations.

I stumbled across this website when I was curious about how atoms work. I was curious as to how a particle (atom) that’s over 99% empty space, could make up something solid. Shouldn’t you and I both be 99% empty space? Well, we are, as explained in this post. I found answers to many more similar questions on this website, and I find it pretty awesome that I can get answers without doing all the math and experiments which I have no knowledge of.  This is much like how I find it awesome that I can get a cup of coffee handed to me in my car without having to plant a plant, process its beans, and brew it! The only difference, I don’t have to pay a buck or two every time I come across an intriguing post. So even if you have absolutely zero interest in science, but an idea or concept from a sci-fi movie tickled your fancy, then you most certainly should pay www.askthemathematician.com a visit!

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