The trick for a good physicist,
Is to work out just what can be missed,
Out from your model,
And then it’s a doddle,
So you can go out and get pissed!

I’m obviously taking some artistic license here (Physics is not a doddle, only some physicists enjoy drinking although given the perception of scientists as stuffy the number that do may surprise some people) but there are a few things in there that I feel are really important to physics. Firstly, accepting that basically everything we do can only ever be a model of the world based on the knowledge that we’ve developed, and it may be incomplete. And secondly, that knowing what to leave out of your model and being able to justify that is key to ever having anything that can actually be useful. The world is far too complicated to deal with everything from first principles, no matter how much we’d like to!

More limericks to come this month, hopefully at a rate of 1/day!


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