The physics of babies

every baby is a scientist.  It might also be true that every scientist that becomes a parent becomes a baby scientist. This was certainly true for Philip Shemella, a computational physicist working in Zurich. When his baby daughter Heidi was born he became a ‘100% as a stay-at-home dad and 50% researcher’. In this charming video he discusses how it changed his life and how it led him to start research in the new field of ‘the physics of babies’ (the physics starts at 4mins)   You can also read about his experiences in a lovely article for Physics World:

As the preceding paragraph indicates, the “eating” dimension of the Baby Universe is closely coupled to the “playing” dimension. Before she could crawl or walk, my daughter would nevertheless want to change her position during playtime. She employed the theory of relativity to satisfy this urge: by moving her playmat from underneath her, she could therefore move herself off the mat. Once mobile, she liked to increase  her potential energy by dragging herself up and onto  whatever obstacle she could find. If stairs existed, that  obstacle was most definitely stairs. This is unfortunate, because although babies understand gravity if they are dropping something (and can even anticipate the “Boom!” the object makes upon impact), they have no comprehension of gravity if they are the body upon which it is acting. It is therefore the physicist-parent’s job to decrease the baby’s potential energy whenever it grows too large, and it is the baby’s work to regain what was taken away. “Physics World – Life in the Baby Universe” via
Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Reply