You should change your area of expertise every 10 years. Here’s why.

To have breakthrough ideas, try veering off your original field of study.

  • People often mistake young minds as having a prerogative in making great scientific discoveries. However, finding innovative solutions is less a matter of youth and more about having a fresh take on things, a subject.
  • One tip in developing innovative solutions is to venture off from your original field of study — in that tangent, you'll be able to grasp things with a "fresh" take. You may be able to spot incongruities or connections that others have overlooked because of their overfamiliarity.
  • To keep your mind constantly engaged, perhaps even to recapture a sense of wonder, change up the subject you're most engrossed in.
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Space is dead: A challenge to the standard model of quantum mechanics

Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.

  • Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
  • In nature, properties of Particle B may depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
  • In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.
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