Suspension of This-Belief

Albert Einstein had once said that if you understand something well, you should be able to explain it to an 8-Year Old. The oft-repeated problem with Academia is that scholars look down their noses at simple-minded words and explanations. While we miss out on a lot of academic discourses and new principles due to a mind-full gap, I propose to explain the basic tenets of 5 scholars in the easiest and millennial language that I can! (Let’s Utilize Occam’s Theory!)

  1. Jacques Lacan: A widely controversial psychoanalyst, Lacan had lengthy discourses explaining the psyche in a language very similar to Freud. However, most of his inputs are discredited for being too (let’s put it as it is) weird, so he has his fingers in may pies.
    On language, Lacan had proposed: ” Language is constitutive of the psychoanalytic experience and that he said that it is impossible to address the question of madness without addressing the problem of language. Moreover, language stresses the conative function above the referential and it is a mediating element which permits the subject to attain recognition from the other.”

    Meaning: Language has no meaning, we have made up words that we think signify a certain thing, but more than the words, it is the context that matters when we consider the “meaning” of a word. We use language to communicate, to spill the tea, and to come off as “turn’t”, language is a way to show off your skills in front of another.


    2. John Dalton: In his honour, Daltonism has taken precedence in Chemistry, Physics and Meteorology. Yet, John Dalton is most famous for the introduction of atomic particles in Chemistry.
    On Particle Physics: “Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the elementary constituents of matter and radiation, and the interactions between them. It is also called “high energy physics”, because many elementary particles do not occur under normal circumstances in nature, but can be created and detected during energetic collisions of other particles, as is done in particle accelerators. Modern particle physics research is focused on subatomic particles, which have less structure than atoms. These include atomic constituents such as electrons, protons, and neutrons (protons and neutrons are actually composite particles, made up of quarks), as well as a wide range of exotic particles.”

    Meaning: Particle Physics is the art of breaking down elements into smaller parts. The smaller parts are further broken down till the smallest possible piece. This process is carried on till the scientists can understand how matter works.


    3. Schrodinger’s Cat Theory: Oof! What hasn’t been said and inferred about Schrodinger’s poor cat. While his cat is used as an example of “superimposition”, the theory is widely misinterpreted, sometimes deliberately in pop culture.
    The Original Premise: “Schrödinger described how one could, in principle, create a superposition in a large-scale system by making it dependent on a quantum particle that was in a superposition. He proposed a scenario with a cat in a locked steel chamber, wherein the cat’s life or death depended on the state of a radioactive atom, whether it had decayed and emitted radiation or not.”

    Meaning: According to Schrödinger, previous scientific discoveries made scientific assumptions based on the idea of dead-and-live cats as a serious possibility. He, in fact, used the example to illustrate the absurdity of the existing principles. In a box, a cat remains dead or alive unless the box is opened. This sort of uncertainty is well and good for normal loves, but not an appropriate basis for scientific discoveries.

4. Hans Kalmus: Circadian Rhythm is a biological process first discovered by Hans Kalmus. It was first witnessed in a fruit fly.
What it originally entailed: ” Known as chronobiology, Circadian rhythms refer to physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. They respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They’re composed of specific molecules (proteins) that interact in cells throughout the body.”

Meaning: Fruit flies, mice, and humans have biological clocks that dictate the activities which are perfect for our physiology at that particular point of time.

5. Sir George Cayley: Space out, literally! The pioneer of spacing out, Sir George Cayley invented the science of aeronautical engineering as we know it today. Space has always fascinated everyone (Just look at Elon Musk). Cayley made our dreams of exploring space a reality.
Original Premise: “Aerospace engineering, also called aeronautical engineering, or astronautical engineering, field of engineering concerned with the design, development, construction, testing, and operation of vehicles operating in the Earth’s atmosphere or in outer space. In 1958 the first definition of aerospace engineering appeared, considering the Earth’s atmosphere and the space above it as a single realm for development of flight vehicles.” 

Very simply: Aeronautical engineering is the act of sending a car into space, ensuring that it finds a destination in space. It also includes making the car a breathable space and sturdy enough for *Heavy* Traffic!

Let me know in the comments, what you’d want explained very simply!
Academia is hard, we could really use simplification techniques.
Don’t you think?

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