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Particle Physics and Pony Fiction Experimentalist

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No Special Talent... · 11:00pm Oct 7th, 2017

Last week I was doing a big public outreach event called Curiosity Carnival (see my Particle Gadgeteering blog if you’re curious). Among all the publicity material we had prepared, some adverts featured the quote from Albert Einstein:

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.

So... If Einstein were a pony, does this mean he would have no cutie mark? He never found his special talent and remained a blank flank all his life? While still managing to develop a series of ground-breaking new theories of fundamental physics.

This sort of fits... One recurring theme in his personal writing is that he saw his inspiration as not coming not from lots of grown-up study, but by being able to see the world in a childlike way. His genius lay in being able to see things that were noticed by children, but ignored by adults, and find a mathematical way to express it.

People like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live...[We] never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.

For example, a postulate of his theory of special relativity - which he worked out before his academic career while working at the Swiss patent office - is that the world works the same way if you are still, or if you are moving at a constant speed. This concept is familiar to many children who have stared out of the window of a train at a station, watching the windows of the train on the opposite track track zip by, carriage by carriage, convinced they are moving, until the last car moves away and they abruptly realise that actually it was the other the train that was moving all along. Few adults pay attention to this.

Study and in general the pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.

Source: Wikiquote

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Comments ( 5 )

Rumble will invent the sciences: Confirmed!

If Einstein were a pony? Hmm. Maybe his cutie mark would be the letter gamma (the symbol for the photon).

I weirdly like the idea of Einstein being a blank-flank.

Of course, his pony name would be a translation of his human name: "One Stone." :trollestia:

Oh, I like this. It would actually make a lot of sense.

I think the CMC mentioned that a special talent was the thing that "makes you you". Equivalently, it's the thing without which you wouldn't be yourself. If people define Einstein's uniqueness in terms of his motivation to pursue his curiosity towards a mathematical end, then his cutie mark would be a representation of that.

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