When you earn a Ph.D., you become an expert in your field, and your increase in knowledge tends to be very incremental. In other words, when you learn something new, it’s a small step that builds on what you already know and therefore tends to not be particularly surprising.
Consequently, I relish those times that I’ve had my mind blown. You know, those moments when you look at the people around you with an expression of shock because you can hardly believe the amazing thing you just learned.
Here are a few examples of things that made me feel like this when I first heard about them:
- Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and the life that thrives near them
- That 90% of the cells in your body are bacteria even though you’re 99% human by mass
- Jupiter's icy moon Europa may have a plume of water
- Shadows on Saturn’s rings and that the rings only about 3 stories (about 10 m) thick
- This picture of a crater on Mercury cut in half by a fault scarp due to global contraction
- That we landed the Curiosity rover (the size of a Mini Cooper) on Mars by doing this
I've taken a number of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to follow my interests in topics including geospatial analysis, Spanish, Python, and data analysis in Python. I never stop learning. Neither should you!