The famous nobel prize winning physicist, Richard Feynman, is asked how magnets work. As an answer, you might expect him to perhaps talk about the magnetic field or Maxwell’s equations … but no … instead what he does is to reveal something quite amazing that cuts directly to the heart of what is being asked and how meaningful any answer might or might not be … for a “why” question.
“When you ask why something happens, how does a person answer why something happens?”
He then goes on to explain that many answers might indeed satisfy the questioner because they are contained within a framework of assumptions, but that you can also keep going and explore deeper and deeper … and so the revelation here is that the “why” question is actually quite difficult.
Why would he be asked this specific question? Well basically because he won the Nobel prize for coming up with the modern mathematical description of the electromagnetic force, and this has become one of the most accurate models in the history of physics, agreeing with all known experiments to an incredible degree of accuracy.
The following 7 minute clip has been viewed over one million times …