[Prologue: This post might be disturbing]
I woke up startled! "Physics is freaking awesome!" I said to myself.
Was it a dream?
I had slept on my physics text book. The page 152 of the book was wet from my drool. It was a lazy afternoon and I must have dozed off while studying. My back was sore. I guess I slept in an unnatural position. The human body wasnt made to sleep on a study table with your Physics text book as your pillow.
But IIT entrance exams make you subject your body to a lot of inhumane stuff - like sleeping at 1 in the night and getting up at 6 in the morning, solving whole calculus problems in your sleep, skipping lunch and sometimes dinner to stay awake... Last night I slept for 3 hours instead of the usual 5 hours. My IIT-JEE(mains) exams were round the corner. I had it all planned. Engineering from one of the IITs, then MBA from one of the IIMs, then job at an American investment bank, Mercedes at 28, BMW at 33, a terrace flat downtown at 35. Its funny how well we plan our life. I had everything planned for the next 20 years when I didnt know what was going to happen in the next 20 minutes!
It was mid-May. It was around 7 in the evening. I looked out of the window. It was golden brown outside. It was lovely! There were dark clouds in the sky and the May Sun beat down on them to create nature's own soft light bulb.
I looked at my drool drenched Physics text book. It wasnt fair. I was just 18. These are the greenest years of my life... and I was spending them reading books and learning formulae. This is so damn unfair. I have to get away from all this. I got up, took my bike keys and opened the door and slammed it shut.
I put in the key and started the bike. I realised I had forgotten to take the helmet with me. Damn it, I thought. I was going on a short ride, I dont need a helmet. I raised the accelerator, to kick the bike out of inertia
Inertia: Inertia is the resistance offered by a body when subjected to a change in its state of rest or of uniform motion.
Too much Physics does that to you. You start finding Physics in every damn thing.
It started to rain. Sparse but large golden droplets started to fall from the gold of the sky. It was like gold melting and falling down onto earth in small gold droplets.
I took the highway. I increased my speed. My hair were getting wet. The smell of wet soil was in the air. The water droplets hit my face, hurting it. Suddenly, I felt alive.
I see a truck trying to take a U turn, I apply the brake gently. A film of water formed on the tar road reduces the friction.
Friction: Friction is a force that resists the relative motion between two surfaces in contact.
I press the brake completely, but the bike wont stop. It skids on the wet frictionless road. I lose my balance. I fall on the wet tar road, the bike drags me along with it. It wont stop. It wont stop. Still no panic. The bike pulls me with it along the tar road, bringing me precariously close to the tyre of the truck.
The truck driver must have applied the brakes, but the momentum(mass x velocity) of the 50,000 kilogram truck kept it going.
Momentum: A measure of the motion of a body equal to the product of its mass and velocity.
It went going and going...till it came close to my head, till I could see the threads on the tyre, till I could smell the cow dung on the huge rubber tyre, and then...
What the ?? What happened to Newton's Third law of motion?!
Newton's Third law of motion: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction!
If the truck exerted 50,000g (where g=9.8m/sec sq.) of force (Action), my head should exert that much force back (Reaction)! But that didnt happen now, did it? Newton was an idiot.. The third law of Newton sucks.. Just then it strikes me! Newtonian laws are applicable to perfectly rigid bodies. My skull isnt perfectly rigid... not even close! My brain lied splattered on the wet tar road. Broken pieces of skull stick to the tyre.
I thought to myself- Physics is freaking awesome!
[Note:It rained in Mumbai today] Physics is freaking awesome!
Editor in chief arshat chaudharyCurrent Issues: IIT, mumbai, physics