Musical physicist seeks new knowledge
Physics Professor Joe Wolfe is popular among students for dramatic lecture demonstrations. Out of class he researches the mechanics of the human voice and composes music.
Whether he’s sandwiched between beds of nails while bricks are smashed on his chest, explaining Einstein's theory of relativity to non-scientists, or composing music while walking along Coogee cliffs, life is about seeking new knowledge for UNSW Physics Professor Joe Wolfe.
As a child, Wolfe says his love of physics came from asking ‘why’.
“My ‘why’ questions usually led to physics; if I asked, ‘why are plants green?’ and was told, ‘because of chlorophyll’, I would ask, ‘why is chlorophyll green?’ Someone would tell me, ‘because chlorophyll absorbs red and blue’,” he says.
“Then I would ask, ‘but why does it absorb some wavelengths and not others?’ This time, the answer was in quantum physics.
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