Slovenian physicist: Derive interest from nature and museums

Updated: Jan 3, 2023 Print
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What drives a scientist to do research for decades, even for a lifetime, may be a sort of inner need to understand the world that never fades.

When Rudi Podgornik, a 67-year-old physicist from Slovenia, first came to Beijing in 2017, he was deeply impressed by the huge and orderly flow of bicycles. "A very complicated, big, enormous city, but somehow self-organized, this was my first impression of Beijing," said Podgornik.

Self organization is a term used in physics which refers to biological systems and soft matter organizing themselves and functioning, with no rules imposed, the physicist explained.

Podgornik often goes to visit science museums when he arrives in a new city. In his mind, people visiting exhibits in a nicely built museum are a sign of vitality of a city. He first visited the Beijing Planetarium and the China Science and Technology Museum in Beijing, "Both (are) extremely beautiful," Podgornik said.

The physicist developed this habit as his father often took him to science museums when he was a child, which is also where his interest in physics stemmed.

When asked how to cultivate children's interest in science, Podgornik said, "You just let them (children) go to all the museums, the nature. The fact that you can enjoy nature is very important to be a scientist."

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