Why Physicists Make fun of Engineers: Are YOU Team Physicist or Engineer?

We’ve all heard different kinds of stories about engineers, physicists and mathematicians. The fight between them is a never-ending one, really! Remember the story when a mathematician, engineer and physicist went into a bar? Oh, we all know this one! But do you know what happened when they were locked inside the separate burning buildings?Here’s what happened next. So, the physicists ran to find a chalkboard, calculated the amount of water that he needed to put out the fire, ran to find the water, found exactly the same amount, used it to put out the fire and survived. An engineer, however, took out the calculator from his pocket, calculated the amount of water he required to put out the fire, ran to find exactly ten times of the water, used all of it to put out the fire and survived. While both of them survived the fire, a mathematician instead ran to the chalkboard calculated the amount of water and declared that there IS a solution to this problem and then burned to death!

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This love-hate relationship between an engineer and physicist dates back to the philosophers of Ancient Greece who considered the reality of their surroundings to be extremely perfect and hence anything that is man-made is never good for them. This extended to the stone-workers who craved tools out of the stones. However, they were merely regarded as artisans. So, when these artisans used the achievements of someone else to construct their own things, for example using a beam to built a home, it was considered utterly offensive.

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Physicists believe that engineers actually lean completely on their achievements using their old ideas to develop something useful. That it is the advancements in physics that allow engineers to experiment with new “toys”. On the other hand, engineers have a different insight to this. They believe that it is actually them who facilitate the physicists to make new discoveries and that it is through their efforts that unfeasible and wild ideas can be transformed into useful and intractable things.

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How-much-so-ever these two fights, we all know that in the end, it is not about proving oneself right, but it is about making the world better which both of them does in their own ways!