The Most Misunderstood Concept in Physics (2023)


One of the most important, yet least understood, concepts in all of physics. Head to to start your free 30-day trial, and the first 200 people get 20% off an annual premium subscription.

If you're looking for a molecular modeling kit, try Snatoms - a kit I invented where the atoms snap together magnetically:

A huge thank you to those who helped us understand different aspects of this complicated topic - Dr. Ashmeet Singh, Supriya Krishnamurthy, Dr. Jos Thijssen, Dr. Bijoy Bera, Dr. Timon Idema, Álvaro Bermejillo Seco and Dr. Misha Titov.

Carnot, S. (1824). Reflections on the motive power of heat: and on machines fitted to develop that power. -

Harnessing The True Power Of Atoms | Order And Disorder Documentaries, Spark via YouTube -

A better description of entropy, Steve Mould via YouTube -

Dugdale, J. S. (1996). Entropy and its physical meaning. CRC Press. -

Schroeder, D. V. (1999). An introduction to thermal physics. -

Fowler, M. Heat Engines: the Carnot Cycle, University of Virginia. -

Chandler, D.L. (2010). Explained: The Carnot Limit, MIT News -

Entropy, Wikipedia -

Clausius, R. (1867). The mechanical theory of heat. Van Voorst. -

What is entropy? TED-Ed via YouTube -

Thijssen, J. (2018) Lecture Notes Statistical Physics, TU Delft.

Schneider, E. D., & Kay, J. J. (1994). Life as a manifestation of the second law of thermodynamics. Mathematical and computer modelling, 19(6-8), 25-48. -

Lineweaver, C. H., & Egan, C. A. (2008). Life, gravity and the second law of thermodynamics. Physics of Life Reviews, 5(4), 225-242. -

Michaelian, K. (2012). HESS Opinions" Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function". Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16(8), 2629-2645. -

England, J. L. (2013). Statistical physics of self-replication. The Journal of chemical physics, 139(12), 09B623_1. -

England, J. L. (2015). Dissipative adaptation in driven self-assembly. Nature nanotechnology, 10(11), 919-923. -

Wolchover, N. (2014). A New Physics Theory of Life, Quantamagazine -

Lineweaver, C. H. (2013). The entropy of the universe and the maximum entropy production principle. In Beyond the Second Law: Entropy Production and Non-equilibrium Systems (pp. 415-427). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. -

Bekenstein, J.D. (1972). Black holes and the second law. Lett. Nuovo Cimento 4, 737–740. -

Carroll, S.M. (2022). The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion. Penguin Publishing Group. -

Black hole thermodynamics, Wikipedia -

Cosmology and the arrow of time: Sean Carroll at TEDxCaltech, TEDx Talks via YouTube -

Carroll, S. M. (2008). The cosmic origins of time’s arrow. Scientific American, 298(6), 48-57. -

The Passage of Time and the Meaning of Life | Sean Carroll (Talk + Q&A), Long Now Foundation via YouTube -

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Written by Casper Mebius, Derek Muller & Petr Lebedev
Edited by Trenton Oliver & Jamie MacLeod
Animated by Mike Radjabov, Ivy Tello, Fabio Albertelli and Jakub Misiek
Filmed by Derek Muller, Albert Leung & Raquel Nuno
Molecular collisions video by CSIRO's Data61 via YouTube: Simulation of air
Additional video/photos supplied by Getty Images, Pond5 and by courtesy of NASA, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Goddard Flight Lab/ CI Lab, NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, HMI, and WMAP science teams. As well as the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, B. Robertson, L. Hernquist
Music from Epidemic Sound & Jonny Hyman
Produced by Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev, Emily Zhang, & Casper Mebius


- This is a video about one of the most important, yet least understood concepts in all of physics.

It governs everything from molecular collisions to humongous storms.

From, the beginning of the universe through its entire evolution, to its inevitable, end.

It may, in fact, determine the direction of time and even be the reason that life exists.

To see the confusion around this topic.

You need to ask only one simple, question.

What does the Earth get from the sun? - What does the earth get from sun? - Well, it's light.

Rays? - What.

Do we get from the sun? - Heat.

- Warmth.

- Warmth, light.

- Vitamin D.

We get vitamin D from- - We do get vitamin D from the ultraviolet rays.

- Well.

A lot of energy.

- What does the earth get from this, energy? - Yeah, energy.

- Energy.

- Nailed it.

Every day.

The earth gets a certain amount of energy from the sun.


Then how much energy does the earth radiate back into space relative to that amount that it gets from the sun? - Probably, not as much, I.

You know, I, don't, believe, it's, just radiating right, back.

- I'd say, less.

- Less.

- Less.

- I say, less.

- I guess about 70%? - It is a fraction.

- I'd say, 20%.

- Because..

- Because.

We use some of it.

- We use some of the energy.

- Mm-hmm.

- We consume a lot, right? - But.

The thing about energy is it never really goes away.

You, can't, really use it up.

- It would have to break even, wouldn't, it?, Same, amount, yeah.

- You know, cause and effect.

It'd be equal in some ways, right? - For most of the earth's history.

It should be exactly the same amount of energy in from the sun as earth radiates into space.

- Wow.

- Because.

If we didn't do that, then the earth would get a lot.

Hotter, that'd be a problem.

- That'd be a big problem.

- So.

If that is the case..

- Yeah.

- Then.

What are we really getting from the sun? - That's a good question.

- Hmm.

- It gives us a nice tan.

- It gives us a nice tan, I, love, it., We're, getting something special from the sun.

- I don't know.

What do we get without the energy? - But? Nobody talks about it.

To answer that.

We have to go back to a discovery made two centuries.


In, the winter of 1813, France was being invaded by the armies of Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

The son of one of Napoleon's generals was Sadi Carnot.

A 17-year-old student.

On, December 29th.

He writes a letter to Napoleon to request to join in the fight.

Napoleon preoccupied in battle, never replies., but Carnot gets his wish.

A few months later, when Paris is attacked.

The students, defend a chateau just east of the city, but there're no match for the advancing armies, and Paris falls.

After only a day of fighting.

Forced to retreat, Carnot is devastated.

Seven years.


He goes to visit his father who's fled to Prussia after Napoleon's.

Downfall., His father was not only a general.

But also a physicist.

He wrote an essay on how energy is most efficiently transferred in mechanical systems.


His son comes to visit.

They talk at length about the big breakthrough of the time.

Steam, engines., Steam engines were already being used to power ships, mine, ore, and excavate ports.


It was clear that the future industrial and military might of nations depended on having the best steam engines.

But, French designs were falling behind.

Those of other countries like Britain., So, Sadi Carnot took it upon himself to figure out why.

At, the time, even the best steam engines, only converted around 3% of thermal energy into useful mechanical work.


He could improve on that.

He could give France a huge advantage and restore its place in the world.


He spends the next three years studying heat engines.

And one of his key insights involves how an ideal heat engine would work, one with no friction and no losses to the environment.

It looks something like this.


Two really big metal, bars, one hot and one cold.

The engine, consists of a chamber filled with air, where heat can only flow in or out through the bottom.


The chamber is a piston, which is connected to a flywheel.


Air starts at a temperature.

Just below that of the hot bar.

So first.

The hot bar is brought into contact with the chamber.

The air inside expands with heat flowing into it to maintain its temperature.

This pushes the piston up, turning the flywheel.


The hot bar is removed, but the air in the chamber continues to expand, except now without heat entering, the temperature, decreases.


The ideal case, until it is the temperature of the cold bar.

The, cold bar is brought into contact with the chamber.

And the flywheel pushes the piston.


And as the air is compressed, heat is transferred into the cold bar.

The, cold bar is removed., The, flywheel, compresses, the gas further increasing its temperature until it is just below that of the hot bar.


The hot bar is connected again and the cycle.



This process, heat from the hot bar is converted into the energy of the flywheel.

And what's.

Interesting to note about Carnot's ideal engine is that it is completely reversible.


You ran the engine in reverse.

First, the air expands lowering the temperature.

Then the chamber is brought into contact with the cold bar.

The air expands more, drawing in heat from the cold bar.


The air is compressed, increasing its temperature.

The chamber is placed on top of the hot bar.

And the energy of the flywheel is used to return the heat back into the hot bar.

However, many cycles were run in the forward direction.

You could run the same number in reverse.

And at the end, everything would return to its original state with no additional input of energy required.

So by running an ideal engine.

Nothing really changes.

You can always undo what you did.


What is the efficiency of this engine? Since it's fully reversible,? You might expect the efficiency to be 100%.

But that is not the case.

Each cycle.

The energy of the flywheel increases by the amount of heat flowing into the chamber from the hot bar, minus the heat flowing out of the chamber at the cold bar.

So to calculate the efficiency, we divide this energy by the heat input from the hot bar.


The heat in on the hot side is equal to the work done by the gas on the piston.

And this will always be greater than the work done by the piston on the gas on the cold side, which equals the heat out.


This is because on the hot side, the hot gas exerts, a greater pressure on the piston than that same gas.

When cold.

To increase the efficiency of the engine, you could increase the temperature of the hot side, or decrease the temperature of the cold side, or both., Lord Kelvin learns of Carnot's ideal heat engine and realizes it could form the basis for an absolute temperature.


Imagine that the gas is allowed to expand an extreme amount, so much that it cools to the point where all the gas particles effectively, stop moving.


They would exert no pressure on the piston, and it would take no work to compress it on the cold side.

So no heat would be lost.

This is the idea of absolute zero.

And it would make for a 100% efficient, engine.


This absolute temperature, scale, the Kelvin scale.

We can replace the amount of heat in and out with the temperature of the hot and cold side respectively, because they are directly proportional.


We can express efficiency like this, which we can rewrite like this.


We have learned is that the efficiency of an ideal heat engine, doesn't depend on the materials or the design of the engine, but fundamentally on the temperatures of the hot and cold sides.

To reach 100% efficiency.

You'd need infinite temperature on the hot side or absolute zero on the cold side, both of which are impossible in practice.

So, even with no friction or losses to the environment, it's impossible to make a heat engine, 100% efficient., And that's because to return the piston to its original position.

You need to dump heat into the cold bar.

So, not all the energy stays in the flywheel.

Now, in Carnot's time, high pressure, steam engines could only reach temperatures up to 160 degrees, Celsius.

So, their theoretical maximum efficiency was 32%.

But their real efficiency was more like 3%.

That's because real engines experience friction, dissipate heat to the environment, and they don't transfer heat at constant temperatures.

So for just as much heat going in, less energy ends up in the flywheel.

The rest is spread out over the walls of the cylinder, the axle of the flywheel, and is radiated out into the environment.

When energy spreads out like this.

It is impossible to get it.



This process is irreversible.

The, total amount of energy didn't change.

But it became less.


Energy is most usable when it is concentrated and less usable.

When it's spread out., Decades, later, German, physicist, Rudolf, Clausius, studies, Carnot's engine.

And he comes up with a way to measure how spread out the energy is.

He calls this quantity, entropy.

When, all the energy is concentrated in the hot bar, that is low entropy.

But as the energy spreads to the surroundings, the walls of the chamber and the axle will entropy increases.

This means the same amount of energy is present.

But in this more dispersed, form, it is less available to do work.

In, 1865, Clausius summarizes the first two laws of thermodynamics like this.


The energy of the universe is constant.

And second.

The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.

In other words, energy spreads out over time.


Second law is core to so many phenomena in the world.


Why hot things cool down and cool things heat up,? Why gas expands to fill a container,? Why you can't have a perpetual motion machine, because the amount of usable energy in a closed system is always decreasing.


Most common way to describe entropy is as disorder, which makes sense because it is associated with things becoming more mixed, random, and less ordered.

But I think the best way to think about entropy is as the tendency of energy to spread out.


Why does energy spread out over time? I mean, most of the laws of physics work exactly the same way, forwards or backwards in time.

So? How does this clear time dependence arise? Well, let's.

Consider two small metal, bars, one, hot and one cold.

For, this simple model, we'll.

Consider only eight atoms per bar.

Each atom vibrates, according to the number of energy packets.

It has.

The more packets, the more it vibrates., So, let's, start with seven packets of energy in the left bar and three in the right.

The number of energy packets in each bar is what we'll call a state.

First, let's.

Consider just the left bar.

It has seven energy packets, which are free to move around.

The lattice.

This happens, nonstop.

The energy, packets, hop randomly from atom to atom, giving different configurations of energy.

But the total energy stays the same.

The whole time.

Now, let's, bring the cold bar back in with only three packets and touch them, together., The energy.

Packets can now hop around between both bars, creating different configurations.


Unique configuration is equally likely.


What happens if we take a snapshot at one instant in time and see where all the energy packets, are?, So, stop, look at this.


There are nine energy packets in the left bar.

And only one in the right bar.

So heat has flowed from cold to hot.

Shouldn't that be impossible, because it decreases entropy? Well.

This is where Ludwig Boltzmann made an important insight.

Heat flowing from cold to hot is not impossible, it's.

Just improbable.

There are 91,520 configurations with nine energy packets in the left bar, but 627,264 with five energy packets in each bar.

That is the energy is more than six times as likely to be evenly spread between the bars.


If you add up all the possibilities, you find there's still a 10.5% chance that the left bar ends up with more energy packets than it started.


Why don't we observe this happening around us? Well, watch.

What happens as we increase the number of atoms to 80 per bar and the energy packets to 100, with 70 in the left bar and 30 in the right.

There is now only a 0.05% chance that the left solid ends up hotter than it started.


This trend continues as we keep scaling up the system.

In everyday solids.

There are around 100 trillion, trillion atoms and even more energy packets., So heat flowing from cold to hot is just so unlikely that it never happens.

Think of it like this Rubik's cube., Right now.

It is completely solved, but I'm gonna close my eyes and make some turns at random.

If I, keep doing this.

It will get further and further from being solved.


How can I be confident that I'm really messing this cube up? Well, because there's only one way for it to be solved, a few ways for it to be almost solved, and quintillions of ways for it to be almost entirely random.

Without thought and effort, every turn moves the Rubik's cube from a highly unlikely state that of it being solved to a more likely state, a total mess.


If the natural tendency of energy is to spread out and for things to get messier, then how is it possible to have something like air conditioning where the cold interior of a house gets cooler? And the hot exterior gets hotter? Energy is going from cold to hot, decreasing the entropy of the house.


This decrease in entropy is only possible by increasing the entropy, a greater amount somewhere else.


This case, at a power plant, the concentrated chemical energy.

And coal is being released, heating up the power plant in its environment, spreading to the turbine.

The electric generators, heating, the wires all the way to the house, and producing waste heat in the fans and compressor.

Whatever decrease in entropy is achieved at the house is more than paid for by an increase in entropy required to make that happen.


If total entropy is constantly increasing and anything we do only accelerates that increase.

Then how is there any structure left on earth? How? Are there hot parts separate from cold? Parts? How does life exist? Well.

If the earth were a closed system, the energy would spread out completely, meaning, all life would cease, everything would decay and mix, and eventually, reach the same temperature.

But luckily, earth is not a closed system, because we have the sun.


The sun really gives us is a steady stream of low entropy that is concentrated bundled up, energy., The energy that we get from the sun is more useful than the energy.

We give back.

It's more compact, it's, more clumped, together., Plants capture this energy and use it to grow and create sugars.

Then animals, eat plants and use that energy to maintain their bodies and move around.

Bigger animals get their energy by eating smaller animals.

And so on.


Each step of the way, the energy becomes more spread out.

- Okay, interesting.

- Yeah.

- Oh wow, I did not know that.

- There.

You go.

Ultimately, all the energy that reaches earth from the sun is converted into thermal energy, and then it's radiated back into space.

But in fact, it's.

The same amount., I know, this is a- - You do know this is..

- I'm a PhD physicist.

- Oh, okay, but anyway, so..

- I trust.

You., The, increase in entropy can be seen in the relative number of photons, arriving at and leaving the earth.


Each photon received from the sun.

20 photons are emitted, and everything that happens on earth, plants, growing, trees, falling, herds, stampeding, hurricanes and tornadoes.

People, eating, sleeping, and breathing.

All of it happens in the process of converting fewer, higher energy photons into 20 times as many lower energy, photons.

Without, a source of concentrated energy and a way to discard the spread out energy, life on earth would not be possible.

It has even been suggested that life itself may be a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics.


The universe tends toward maximum entropy, then life offers a way to accelerate that natural tendency, because life is spectacularly good at converting low entropy into high entropy.

For example, the surface layer of seawater produces between 30 to 680% more entropy.

When cyanobacteria and other organic matter is present than when it's not.

Jeremy England takes this one step further.

He's proposed that if there is a constant stream of clumped up energy, this could favor structures that dissipate that energy.

And over time.

This results in better and better energy.


Eventually, resulting in life.

Or in his own words, "You start with a random clump of atoms.

And if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant." So life on earth survives on the low entropy from the sun.

But then where did the sun get its low entropy?? The answer is the universe.


We know that the total entropy of the universe is increasing with time.

Then it was lower entropy yesterday.

And even lower entropy, the day before that, and so on, all the way back to the Big Bang.

So, right after the Big Bang, that is when the entropy was lowest.

This is known as the past hypothesis.

It doesn't explain why the entropy was low, just that it must have been that way for the universe to unfold as it has.


The early universe was hot, dense, and almost completely uniform.

I mean.

Everything was mixed.

And the temperature was basically the same everywhere, varying by at most 0.001%.


How is this low entropy? Well,? The thing we've left out is gravity.

Gravity tends to clump matter, together.

So taking gravity into account.

Having matter all spread out like this, would be an extremely unlikely state.

And that is why it's low entropy.

Over time, as the universe expanded and cooled, matter started to clump together in more dense regions.

And in doing so, enormous amounts of potential energy were turned into kinetic energy.


This energy could also be used like how water flowing downhill can power a turbine.

But as bits of matter started hitting each other.

Some of their kinetic energy was converted into heat.


The amount of useful energy, decreased., Thereby, increasing entropy., Over, time.

The useful energy was used.

In doing so, stars, planets, galaxies, and life were formed.

Increasing entropy.

All along.

The universe started with around 10 to the 88 Boltzmann constants worth of entropy.


All the stars in the observable universe have about 9.5 times 10 to the 80.

The interstellar and intergalactic medium combined have almost 10 times more.

But still only a fraction of the early universe.

A lot more is contained in neutrinos.

And in photons of the cosmic microwave background., In, 1972, Jacob, Bekenstein proposed another source of entropy, black holes.

He suggested that the entropy of a black hole should be proportional to its surface, area.

So as a black hole.


Its entropy increases.

Famous, physicists thought, the idea was nonsense and for good reason.

According to classical thermodynamics.

If black holes have entropy, then they should also have a temperature.


If they have temperatures, they should emit radiation and not be black after all.

The person who set out to prove Bekenstein wrong was Stephen Hawking.

But to his surprise.

His results showed that black holes do emit radiation, now known as Hawking radiation, and they do have a temperature.

The black hole at the center of the Milky Way has a temperature of about a hundred trillionth of a Kelvin, emitting radiation that is far too weak to detect.


Still, pretty black.

But, Hawking, confirmed that black holes have entropy and Bekenstein was right.

Hawking was able to refine Bekenstein's proposal and determine just how much entropy.

They have.

The, super massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way has about 10 to the 91 Boltzmann constants of entropy.

That is 1,000 times as much as the early observable universe, and 10 times more than all the other particles, combined.


That is just one black hole.

All black holes together account for 3 times 10 to the 104 Boltzmann constants worth of entropy.

So, almost all the entropy of the universe is tied up in black holes.

That means.

The early universe only had about 0.000000000000003% of the entropy.

It has now.


The entropy was low, and everything that happens in the universe like planetary systems.

Forming, galaxies, merging, asteroids, crashing, stars, dying, to life itself, flourishing, all of that can happen because the entropy of the universe was low, and it has been increasing.

And it all happens only in one direction.

We never see an asteroid uncrash or a planetary system unmix into the cloud of dust and gas that made it up.

There is a clear difference between going to the past and the future.

And that difference comes from entropy.

The fact that we are going from unlikely to more likely states is why there is an arrow of time.

This is expected to continue until eventually.

The energy gets spread out.

So completely that nothing interesting will ever happen.


This is the heat death of the universe.

In, the distant future, more than 10 to the 100 years from now, after the last black hole has evaporated.

The universe will be in its most probable, state.

Now, even on large scales.

You would not be able to tell the difference between time moving forwards or backwards.

And the arrow of time itself would disappear.


It sounds like entropy is this awful thing that leads us inevitably towards the dullest outcome, imaginable.

But, just because maximum entropy has low complexity does not mean that low entropy has maximum complexity.

It's, actually more like this tea and milk.

I mean, holding it like this is not very interesting.

But as I pour the milk in.

The two start to mix and these beautiful patterns, emerge.

They arise in an instant.

And before you know, it, they're gone back to being featureless.

Both low and high entropy are low in complexity.

It's in the middle where complex structures appear and thrive.

And since that's, where we find ourselves, let's make use of the low entropy.

We've got while we can.

With the right tools.

We can understand just about anything, from a cup of tea cooling down to the evolution of the entire universe.


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  6. Why do we dream? ...
  7. Why is there stuff? ...
  8. Are there other universes?

What's the answer to x3 y3 z3 K? ›

In mathematics, entirely by coincidence, there exists a polynomial equation for which the answer, 42, had similarly eluded mathematicians for decades. The equation x3+y3+z3=k is known as the sum of cubes problem.

What is Albert Einstein hardest equation? ›

Einstein's greatest equation, E = mc2, is a triumph of the power and simplicity of fundamental physics. Matter has an inherent amount of energy to it, mass can be converted (under the right conditions) to pure energy, and energy can be used to create massive objects that did not exist previously.

Which is harder a-level biology or physics? ›

One might perceive Biology as the most challenging subject, while another one might consider Physics as the hardest A-Level course. All three A-Level courses, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, consist of relatively easy or tough sections, which again entirely depend on a specific individual's enthusiasm.

What is the toughest subject in the world? ›

Most challenging bachelor courses in the world:
  • Aero and astronautical Engineering.
  • Biomedical engineering.
  • Cell and molecular biology.
  • Physics.
  • Astronomy.
  • Biochemistry or biophysics.
  • Bioengineering.
  • Petroleum engineering.
Oct 12, 2022

Which is harder a-level chemistry or physics? ›

Is Physics A-Level Harder Than Chemistry? You'll observe the following from the information in the above table: Chemistry has 2.80% fewer students who achieved grade A* than Physics. Chemistry has 2.30% more students who got A than Physics.

What is the most mysterious thing in the universe? ›

Dark matter — the unknown substance comprising 85 percent of all matter in the universe — is strange.

What are the 7 mysteries of the world? ›

Table of Contents
  • Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt.
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
  • Statue of Zeus at Olympia.
  • Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
  • Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
  • Colossus of Rhodes.
  • Lighthouse of Alexandria.
  • New 7 Wonders of the World.
Oct 27, 2009

What is the biggest mystery of life? ›

For every living being on this planet, death is the greatest mystery of them all. The ways that we experience death, celebrate life, and wonder about what's next are part of what makes us human— yet it's also a subject we often push aside.

Who created dark matter? ›

The term dark matter was coined in 1933 by Fritz Zwicky of the California Institute of Technology to describe the unseen matter that must dominate one feature of the universe—the Coma Galaxy Cluster.

Is space infinite? ›

Because space isn't curved they will never meet or drift away from each other. A flat universe could be infinite: imagine a 2D piece of paper that stretches out forever. But it could also be finite: imagine taking a piece of paper, making a cylinder and joining the ends to make a torus (doughnut) shape.

When did time exist? ›

According to the standard big bang model of cosmology, time began together with the universe in a singularity approximately 14 billion years ago.

What questions did Buddha not answer? ›


The list of ten unanswered questions are given in the following, and are divided into three things: the world, the self, and the Tathāgata: (1) Is the world eternal? (sassato loko ti)? (2) Is the world not eternal? (asassato loko ti)? (3) Is the world finite? (antavā loko ti)?

What are the 4 questions Buddha refused to answer? ›

After death, a Tathagata exists, does not exist, both exists and does not exist, neither exists nor does not exist?

What is the hardest question that no one can answer? ›

800 Questions That are Impossible to Answer - (Mind-Blowing Questions)
  • Who decided what's right and wrong?
  • What is the purpose of setting goals if we all die anyway?
  • What is freedom and does it really exist?
  • Which came first – the chicken or the egg?
  • What makes you, you?
  • Is ageing inevitable?
  • How does turbulence work?

What is the ultimate question in life? ›

The number 42 is, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything," calculated by an enormous supercomputer named Deep Thought over a period of 7.5 million years. Unfortunately, no one knows what the question is.

What is the secret of the universe 42? ›

42, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, is the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything", calculated by a supercomputer named Deep Thought over a period of 7.5M years.

What are the hardest questions on earth? ›

Science can't answer the big questions
  • Is the economy doing well?
  • Does your family really love you?
  • Why is there hatred in the world?
  • Is the Mona Lisa beautiful?
  • What is the purpose of life?
  • Who is the best football player ever?
  • Are you having a good day?
  • Does this dress make me look fat?
Apr 27, 2021

What is the golden rule in physics? ›

In quantum physics, Fermi's golden rule is a formula that describes the transition rate (the probability of a transition per unit time) from one energy eigenstate of a quantum system to a group of energy eigenstates in a continuum, as a result of a weak perturbation.

What is the 5% rule in physics? ›

The 5% error rule = the absolute value of the y intercept / highest y value *100. If above 5% you keep the y intercept. If below 5 % you can cancel the y intercept.

What is the 3 finger rule in physics? ›

Moving charges

We can remember this diagram using the right-hand rule. If you point your pointer finger in the direction the positive charge is moving, and then your middle finger in the direction of the magnetic field, your thumb points in the direction of the magnetic force pushing on the moving charge.

What is the most accurate theory ever? ›

They can even, some of them, flow right through us. The theory of quantum fields is arguably the most successful scientific theory of all time. In some cases, it makes predictions that agree with experiments to an astonishing 12 decimal places.

What is the most confusing theory? ›

The Theory of General Relativity

One of the most famous theories of all time is also one of the hardest to understand: Albert Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.

What is the oldest unproven theorem? ›

Goldbach's conjecture is one of the oldest and best-known unsolved problems in number theory and all of mathematics. It states that every even natural number greater than 2 is the sum of two prime numbers.

What is the most accurate theory in physics? ›

Physicists' best theory of gravity is general relativity, Albert Einstein's famous conception of how matter warps space and time. Their best theory of everything else is quantum physics, which is astonishingly accurate when it comes to the properties of matter, energy and subatomic particles.

What is one of the greatest discovery in physics? ›

The Theory of Relativity is one of the most important and influential ideas in physics. Developed in 1905, it changed the way we think about space and time, energy and matter, and the universe itself.

Which is the most beautiful physics theory? ›

Abstract Einstein's theories of special and general relativity are unanimously praised by scientists for their extraordinary beauty to the extent that some consider the latter to be the most beautiful theory in physics.

What broke the laws of physics? ›

Answer and Explanation: Laws of physics cannot be "broken" per se, and there are no real consequences for doing so.

What is the strongest force in nature? ›

Therefore, the strong nuclear force is the strongest force in nature.

What is the most powerful force known to man? ›

Ordered from strongest to weakest, the forces are 1) the strong nuclear force, 2) the electromagnetic force, 3) the weak nuclear force, and 4) gravity.

What is the most interesting topic in physics? ›

Top 10 Weird but Cool Physics Ideas
  • Wave Particle Duality. PASIEKA/Science Photo Library/Getty Images. ...
  • Einstein's Theory of Relativity. ...
  • Quantum Probability & The Measurement Problem. ...
  • Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. ...
  • Quantum Entanglement & Nonlocality. ...
  • Unified Field Theory. ...
  • The Big Bang. ...
  • Dark Matter & Dark Energy.
Feb 7, 2019

What is the core concept of physics? ›

Physics is a study of how the universe behaves. Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the study of nature in an attempt to understand how the universe behaves.

What are the 7 basics of physics? ›

The seven lessons are about Einstein's general theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, the architecture of the cosmos, elementary particles, quantum gravity, probability and the heat of black holes and, finally, how humans fit into this picture.

What are the hardest concepts in science? ›

I think some of the hardest concepts to grasp in science are the consequences of quantum mechanics, such as wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, and entanglement. The concepts of string theory are equally hard to grasp, such as multiple dimensions that you can't see.

Is concepts of physics hard? ›

Physics is no doubt one of the highest-scoring subjects. Having said that, it is also true that understanding physics isn't an easy feat. In fact, some students have a hard time even getting the basic concepts of physics.

What are the hardest concepts to understand? ›

Top 10 Concepts Most of Us Can't Understand
  1. 1 Love. Is hard to understand because its opposite " hate " is part of the concept to understand the meaning of love. ...
  2. 2 Life. ...
  3. 3 Death. ...
  4. 4 Art. ...
  5. 5 Beauty. ...
  6. 6 Trust. ...
  7. 7 Friendship. ...
  8. 8 Our Limits.

What is the hardest physics 2 concept? ›

Optics. Optics is probably the hardest, due to all the intricacieswith angles and mirrors and such. Modern/Nuclear Physics is a small unit that isn't covered that heavily.

What is the most complex in science? ›

The brain is the last and grandest biological frontier, the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe. It contains hundreds of billions of cells interlinked through trillions of connections. The brain boggles the mind.

What is the hardest science ever? ›

Chemistry. Chemistry is famous for being one of the hardest subjects ever, so it's no surprise that a Chemistry degree is fiercely challenging.

Which is harder quantum physics or astrophysics? ›

Which is harder quantum physics or astrophysics? Both are pretty challenging but completely opposite descriptions of the world in terms of size. Astrophysics deals with the motions, configurations of objects of celestial length scales where the relativistic effects are extremely important.

Is physics harder or calculus? ›

Physics is absolutely harder than calculus. Calculus is an intermediate level of mathematics that is usually taught during the first two years of most STEM majors. Physics on the other hand is a very advanced and difficult and highly researched field.

Why is physics harder than math? ›

Why is Physics harder than Math? Answer: Physics demands problem-solving skills that can be developed only with practice. It also involves theoretical concepts, mathematical calculations and laboratory experiments that adds to the challenging concepts.

Why can't I understand physics concepts? ›

Physics, like math, is a skill. Skills have to be learned one step at a time, with the steps building toward a holistic understanding. You won't learn and understand it all at once. You need to practice problems at each step and thus internalize its lesson.

What is the hardest lesson in the world? ›

One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Whether it's guilt, anger, love, loss or betrayal. Change is never easy. We fight to hold on, and we fight to let go.

What is the most difficult thing to understand in world? ›

At least according to Albert Einstein, who said, “The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.”

Is Physics 2 or C harder? ›

Both AP Physics C courses are calculus-based, meaning you should have already taken calculus or concurrently be taking calculus while you take either AP Physics C course. This is the main factor that makes Physics C more challenging than Physics 1 and Physics 2.

Is Physics 1 or 2 easier? ›

Students who are skilled in math and physics, such as those who enjoyed AP Physics 1, may find AP Physics 2 one of their easier AP courses. However, students who are not particularly interested in physics or learners who struggled to pass AP Physics 1 may encounter difficulties in AP Physics 2.

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