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Experiences

3000 WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU: THE PHYSICS BETWEEN YOU AND ME

Dear Physics 7A, 

I remember our first conversation. 

We were arguing back and forth about a step in a complex physics problem that none of the other people in our section had been having luck with solving. It was down to your answer and mine and we both believed that our own answers were the right one. It was one tiny step that made the subsequent solution of our works arrive at very different conclusions. In the end, we both got it wrong. But if I am being honest, without your constant prodding and challenging, I never would have attempted to work on that problem. And I never would have properly learned one very important physical law. 

The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. In other words, whatever we take must be given back to the equation at some point, and whatever is given will somehow be taken away to achieve a balance. As straightforward as this might sound, I had a hard time incorporating it into actual physics problems. I couldn’t grasp the idea that energy can never be created or destroyed, only converted into a different form. It just didn’t sit right with me that when something disappears, it will find a way to re-enter the universe in a modified version. To me, what is taken out of an equation will cease to hold any practical importance. But I guess meeting you taught me more than how to solve that one problem. 

I remember our last conversation. 

“We’ll become better versions of ourselves.” 

“But without each other?” 

“We’ll always have each other.” 

“How?” 

“You know how.” 

It’s the Law of Conservation of Energy. We add something to an equation expecting it to cancel out. We meet knowing that one day we will have to say goodbye. It’s always been the Law of Conservation of Energy. And so, perhaps we know we will always have each other because we know we never did. Perhaps we were meant to fall in love because we would eventually fall out of it. You and me, the physics between us, can neither be created or destroyed. 

I’m glad we got that problem wrong but still got it solved in the end. 

Sincerely,

Bio 1B

Emily Lin

UC Berkeley '25

Emily Lin is a first-year at UC Berkeley studying Political Science and Economics. She is passionate about writing and creating social changes. Emily is an infp, a certified original Sagittarius, and in her free time, loves to write poetry and try new food.
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