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'marvels of the universe' - Stanford Intellectual Vitality


statt8900 1 / -  
Oct 1, 2011   #1
Hi any input would be greatly appreciated

1. Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.

One day, while channel surfing on my couch, I came across a TV show on the history of the universe, and the line that captivated me was "we are stardust." This idea that we can trace every atom on earth to supernovae that happened billions of years ago ignited in me a curiosity like none other. I immediately researched the topic and came across dozens of lectures and books on the topic. The subsequent weeks encompassed me rushing home from school to lie in my bed and watch a lecture on the origin of the elements or listen to interviews with astrophysicists on all the amazing phenomena in the universe that led to our solar system.

However, what changed my perspective on the world was not just the fact that these phenomena existed, but also how integral all these quasars, black holes, and hundreds of other marvels of the universe were to our existence today. For years I had been under the impression that beyond the beginning of life on earth scientists had great ideas and speculations, but no solid theories or evidence. But these interviews, lectures, TV shows, and books opened my eyes; I found that history didn't stop 2.8 billion years when life first showed up, it went on for billions of years tracing all the way back to the beginning of the universe. This unbelievable timeline excited not only the scientific aspect of my brain, but gave me a new philosophical perspective on the universe. The rest of the universe seemed less remote, and more like a picture of our past, present, and future.

hixtine 4 / 9  
Oct 1, 2011   #2
I like the topic you choose as well as how you connected it to a bigger picture
dyj921 2 / 8  
Oct 2, 2011   #3
I loved that show too! Its a solid piece overall but I think you could add on to the last sentence because it relates to what you have gained by learning all these knowledge of the universe. Perhaps you could talk about how wonderful it is that an insignificant being like you and I could potentially discover universal laws through science that has had a great effect on the whole picture that is the universe.


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