When a particle is nothing like a particle

That scientists, perhaps especially physicists, and other folks misunderstand each other is something I am rather sure of. I experience it every day even though I work at a place full of professional nerds and geeks. We all like to be normal, and all have different definitions of what that may be.

See, when I talk to an engineer here, she has a different idea of what many things are. I mean it. Think of a “particle”. Solar wind particles create Northern Lights in the Earth’s atmosphere, for example.

What is a particle?

To a physicist, and in the sense it is used when talking Northern Lights, it is an irregularity in this. To whom but a physicist is it exactly that, I pray?

We do misunderstand each other.

When first realising this, I got slightly depressed. Then I noticed something: Say the current American president uses the word “democracy”. Then the German chancellor uses it….

Think about it. We’re just humans. We should talk, and make absolutely sure we understand each other before we stop talking.

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