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My Journey into Physics

illustration of an atom where the sun is the nucleus and the planets are the electrons.

Author: Christian Jimenez

Since I can remember, I have felt an inexplicable draw to the mysteries of space. Though more than observing celestial bodies at night, I wanted to understand the how and the why. My passion for physics blossomed even before I knew such a subject matter existed. By 7th grade, I found myself reading the works of luminaries like Stephen Hawking on black holes, Einstein on gravitational waves, Oppenheimer on nuclear physics, and Planck on quantum physics, among others. I was hooked! However, the more I learned, the more questions I had and that is how my journey into the physics of the cosmos started.

Perhaps you knew the sun’s magnetic field is responsible for space weather - hello auroras! as well as for the interplanetary magnetic field and radiation through which our spacecraft travel but did you know that scientists still do not have a complete understanding of the sun’s magnetic field – including knowing exactly how it’s generated and its structure deep inside the sun.

Also,  sci-fi movies like Interstellar use ideas and theories about black holes and their accretion disks, but did you know there are over 100 million black holes in our galaxy alone? Yet, we cannot "see" them even with the most advance telescopes? Also, scientist have identified only two sizes of black holes: small ones, about 10-24 times the mass of the sun, and supermassive ones, millions to billions times the mass of the sun. Where are the medium size black holes?

Lastly, in 2012 the NASA announced that the Hubble telescope presented irrefutable evidence that Andromeda, our nearest galaxy, is on course to crash and merge with the Milky Way approximately 4 billion years from now. Although this is a monumental event, scientists are confident that Earth and our Solar System will not be destroyed. While this event is too far out, could it be possible for the Solar System to be affected by the gravitational pull even before the collision?

Illustration of Andromeda colliding with the Milky Way
Illustration: Andromeda (left) begins to distort the Milky Way (right). NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger

Despite advancements in technology and groundbreaking discoveries, fundamental questions remain. Are we alone in the Universe? Is extraterrestrial life possible?  Although Elon Musk believes it is possible to transform Mars’ atmosphere to make it more like Earth’s, it is to be confirmed.

My aim is to be part of the scientific community that’s dedicated to understanding the Universe for the benefit of humanity. The journey will be long and will certainly come with more failures than successes but I am committed. As I prepare for college, I’ll document my findings in this blog.

Use the comment section below to contact me, you may also ask questions, discuss the article, or suggest topics for research. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please note that I am borrowing this website space for now, I will make plans to move to my own space soon.

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