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Episode Nine – An Interview with the Physicist Juanma

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Today we interview the Spanish physicist Juanma on physics, the role of philosophy in physics and what can be done to improve the state of modern physics.

Episode Transcript

[Please note that this may not exactly match the audio. However, there should be no significant differences.  Also, note that the audio may of poorer quality than previous episodes, so you might want to keep this in mind.]

Hi everyone! This is episode nine of the Metaphysics of Physics podcast.

I am Ashna, and I your host and guide through the hallowed halls of the philosophy of science. Thanks for tuning in!

With this show, we are fighting for a more rational world, mostly by looking through the lens of the philosophy of science.  We raise awareness of issues within the philosophy of science and present alternative and rational approaches.

You can find all the episodes, transcripts and subscription options on the website at metaphysicsofphysics.com.

Today we have an interview with Juanma, physics and mathematics researcher, Objectivist and a fellow student of the philosophy of physics!

Dwayne originally performed this interview. But, for various reasons we won’t go into here, his segments were rerecorded by myself.

The audio may be of lower quality than normal. This is due to the fact that the interview was performed over Skype and the connection was of fairly low quality.

For the most part, the audio should be of acceptable quality, but if parts are less clear there is a transcript which may help to clarify parts of the audio which might be difficult to make out.

Note that the transcript includes the answers Juanma prepared in advance and does not include extra commentary improvised during the interview.  This extra content is nice, but it is not crucial. You should be able to get the gist of the answers provided to the questions from the transcript.

But, without further ado, let us start the interview.

Interview

Juanma, please introduce yourself to our audience.
I am Juanma, my name is Jaun Manuel.  I am a Spanish physicist and I majored in theoretical physics.  And then I spent a year doing research in the foundation of quantum mechanics.

And now I am living in London doing an MSc course in quite a different thing, which is the physics of complex systems.  And I am also interested in philosophy and quantum mechanics interpretations.  Which has been my motive even since I got into the science world.

1) What did you study and why?
In Madrid, I could have chosen mathematics or physics. In the end, I decided to major in physics.

I decided this quite early during high school. I decided this quite early during high school because the thing that most resonates with me is discovering and understanding natural phenomena.

I mean, I love mathematics, but I felt it was too far from the real world.  So, in the end, I wanted something a little bit more hands-on, even if I have always been more inclined to the more fundamental and theoretical side.

2) What are the right reasons to pursue an academic career in physics or other sciences? What will enable you to make it?
Well, first of all, being quite the vocational career, so it takes a lot of dedication and interest. This is not a job that you can forget about once you get home, for example.

Many scientists spend many more hours at work than they would normally have to, and some keep working even at home, even at night.

My supervisor, last year, was hoping for the family to go to sleep so he could keep doing research, after past, I don’t know, midnight.

cat nap long hours

If you want to go into the sciences, learn to catnap so you can better handle those long hours.

It takes so much dedication: it must be your passion, your job and your hobby.  Which is quite of a thing to request for an interest in life.

Yeah, it just becomes your life.  Everyone I have known who was taking a Ph.D. or just researching, have just turned science into their life.

Many jobs in this world, you can just forget about them once you are finished.  But, science, particularly theoretical and fundamental sciences, you can to go bed and then come up with something, wake up (or stand up), take a note and then go back to bed.

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