Description of the video:
Transcript for Elliot Barnett – The Red Chair video
Elliot Barnett, a biological and physical sciences major, sits masked up in the red chair in the physics lab at IU Kokomo. He's surrounded by desks and behind him is a row of posters showcasing the history of physics. Pop music plays in the background. Elliott begins speaking to an interviewer off camera. The red chair at Indiana University Kokomo logo is beside him on the side of the screen.
See, I’d taken physics in high school you know, and I hated it I hated it. It was, it was super annoying and I thought it was, you know, a waste of my time.
And then I took it in college and realized how applicable it was and how I could literally come up with equations to describe things that I was seeing on a regular day basis. And to me that link between, you know, the mathematical world where we're writing equations and we're doing number computations, and the physical world where we see these things happen in real time, you know, to see that linkage and be able to make that linkage myself, was one of the most exciting things about college. Right?
So I was super pumped after physics 2. I had just gotten, and at the end of physics 2, Dr. Motl just gives you a sprinkling of general relativity which is a, it's a crazy story right, general relativity is a, is quite a, quite a rabbit hole to go down. So at the tail end of physics 2 I asked Dr. Motl if he would be okay teaching me physics 3, just going to the next level of physics. And so he said, ‘yeah absolutely.’
He had taught the class once before and he thought it would be worthwhile to me because I was interested in the material. And so I took that book that I actually was using to write equations here just a moment ago, and we more or less read it cover to cover and just kind of over the course of a year. It wasn't even just like a single semester class. Over the course of a year I just visited Dr. Motl, I don't even think I got credit for it for the second semester, I was just doing it for my own sake.
And I was going in and learning these different physics concepts and just being amazed every day that I could go in on a Friday every week and have my mind completely shattered, you know, and have to fundamentally rethink how things work every single week. And to me that experience was just incredible! So of course I wanted to do research with Dr. Motl. And uh, we started talking a little bit more about doing the research, and then trying to get a physics minor established here at IUK.
And like, he's put a lot of effort and time into helping me where there wasn't really there wasn't a monetary, you know, gain from that. There wasn't, you know, there was no real benefit to it aside from the fact that he was being able to teach physics to somebody else. And I think that's amazing. Like, I don't know where that altruism came from, I’m glad for it, but that was one of the experiences.
And Dr. Motl's not the only one on campus that's been that way you know I, the staff here, because it is so small, and because it is so intimate, I would say you don't get disinterested, disaffected professors the same way as you would at bigger school.
My name is Elliot Barnett. I'm a senior over here at IUK. I study biological and physical sciences and I’ll have three minors in biology, mathematics, and the first minor, here at IUK, in physics.
The hashtag #iukstrong animation pops up on the screen and transitions off to reveal the IU Kokomo logo and website link, iuk.edu.