I started reading some quantum physics as a hobby. I’m scanning through, very cursorily absorbing the ideas. And thinking.

I was immediately somehow caught by the Yang-Mills challenge. It’s something that I do not understand basically *at all*. I wanted to know more, at least so much that I could understand what the challenge wants a person to solve.

Yang-Mills is about finding a kind of uniting beauty, the “next level”, if you wish, in quantum fields theories. It seems that during the last 50 years there’s something that has bugged theorists: fermions.

Fermions are massless particles. Pauli who was a famous nuclear physicist, invented a 6-dimensional theory but refrained from publicizing it since (perhaps) his intuition was, that the massless particles were aberrant and indicative of possibly an erroneous theory?

Fermions, I originally thought, were purely an ‘odd class’ of elementary particles. I read again the parts of Wikipedia, which tell about fermions. When coming to contact with quantum physics, my background is that I excelled in high school physics, but ever since (that’s 20+ years ago), well.. Haven’t much used any of the stuff actively.

Mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics were all very interesting areas of high school physics. I didn’t especially like optics, because I found optics to be reliant on mostly trigonometric functions; and trigonometry was to me combining two things I absolutely detest: approximate values, given by a calculator or a table of mathematics; and having to rotely memoize “which is which” – I never seemed to remember was it sin() or cos() to be used in certain situations. So to me the use of sine or cosine was kind of this **black box** mentality. And I always mixed them up! 🙂

Other pieces, perhaps, than the massless particles, somehow fit the spirit of our (possibly “innate”) newtonian thinking, where there shouldn’t be oddities. Newtonian means the classical functions describing things like:

- a falling object (under gravity)
- bouncing (elastic) objects – momentum
- acceleration due to a force other than gravity
- the “conservative” friction (which is also a force), whose energy is always wasted effect

But on the other hand quantum physics does lead to some counterintuitive thinking.

I’m mesmerized by the [the margin is way too erratically set in order for me to continue writing here, right now]