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For the young about scientific activities specific


Кампус КПІ. КПІСтіна, ФМФ

Dedicating science more than 40 years of my life, I want to share with those who are just thinking to begin study science, some considerations about the science specific, which in many aspects very different from other areas of human activity.

Human is a biological creature and his deeds indirectly control the three basic instincts: hunger, self-preservation (fear) and procreation (sexual instinct). But there is yet a fourth very strong instinct - curiosity. It is inherent in all children. In the mature age this  instinct dies in most people. However, very few people still have it for all life. And exactly some of these people  become scientists.

I repeat, these people not much,even faster very little. But in science are millions of people - you might say. There is no contradiction – to me, not all scientists may be considered as scholars. Millions of researchers every morning came to service, turn on appliances or computers, in a few minutes before the end of the day they turn out it, go home and everyone involves in their affairs, which have no relation to their work. Their measurement data (X-rays, spectrograms, etc.) or computer processing included scientific articles, and they are part of the authors.And often these workers defend their dissertations. But personally I  this type of people working in science, do not consider scientists. Of course, they also needed if they faithfully and efficiently perform their job, and in the authors team of scientific publications they are deservedly (although there are exceptions). But they are not scholars and, in my opinion, are referred to simply as researchers. Scientists are - the ones who captured his research, and think of them not only during the working day.

So, the quality by which we distinguish a scientist - a passion of problem. Passion is the result of curiosity instinct that does not died in early youth. But this is not the only feature which should have a scientist.

At the time when I worked in the Institute of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, I occasionally got review projects which purpose was to provide the world an unprecedented, almost inexhaustible energy sources, and simultaneously solve all environmental problems. These projects came to our scientific research institute of high institutions, where they were served by authors.

All these projects that I have read, in science wiew were completely illiterate. The people who wrote them had rather weak idea about chemistry, and the thermodynamics laws. But in enthusiasm for the idea we could not refuse! They have repeatedly submitted their projects to reputable scientific institutions denied them there, they repeated attempts again. Such type of enthusiastic people - these are not scientists, but the real "freaks." With scientists they only have a strong instinct of curiosity, but distinguishes required lack of basic knowledge. If you're the type of enthusiastic people and want to become scientists, firstly you must acquire the basic knowledge.

For example, to become a scientist in the field of "clear" or applied chemistry, first of all necessary knowledge of the chemical courses that students study: inorganic, organic, physical, analytical chemistry. And, if you’re specialize in inorganic chemistry, it does not mean that you have no need of organic chemistry. It is imperative for the years of studying to get general chemical preparations. And then you will have to deepen your knowledge in a narrow field, which relates your theme. So, the total thorough chemical preparation – is the first part of your base.

Among chemists is widespread the view that they don’t need math. The opinion is absolutely false! Without proper mathematical training, you can’t understand the fundamental theories in which modern chemistry underlies. For example, crystal structure and methods of the researching can be understood only with knowledge of the theory of vectors and other groups. Spectral researching of matter structure, without which today can’t do almost no serious research in all fields of chemistry, it requires knowledge of differential equations theory, including partial derivatives. Therefore, it is desirable to worry about a good general mathematical training. But it would be a mistake to do it the traditional way, as well as studying math, for those it is a profession. Chemists or physicists do not necessary to know the existence theorems and their proofs. It is important to be able to use the results of these theorems in the form of a solution algorithm for requiring problems. Unfortunately, these math courses are rare. I know only one book that I recommend to self-education: YB Zel'dovich, AD Myshkis «Elements of applied mathematics.» M .: Nauka, 1972. It, incidentally, is freely available online

Science in the modern sense has the deal with the occurrences and processes that execute. For example, if you have developed a method of synthesis and described it, then by this description, anyone with existence of proper training and material base, could repeat it. If you have studied the kinetics of a reaction, your result will be fair, no matter how many times this reaction is carried out, but not some laws on Friday and next Monday others laws. That's such effects, objects and processes studied by modern science.

But there is another phenomenon (and perhaps phantoms) that are clearly out of this type, although many of them very interested in intelligent and curious people. I mean the so-called "paranormal" - UFOs, poltergeist, telekinesis and so on. If you are going to become scientists, such things should not be engaged! Are they in fact, or not - so the question should not be treated at all. You have to tell yourself: I am not shy and I did not want to think it over. Interests of such things are very dangerous to humans, especially the young. You can lose not only mental but also physical health.

Much the same can be said about religion. Many famous scientists were deeply religious people - Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Max Planck and many others. If you believe in God and attend church - to health, it does not interfere with scientific activities. But better pray to your God, which genetically linked with generations of your ancestors. Beware of new sects and beliefs, which are now very much and to which you have no immunity. You easily risk to become a kind of "zombie"  from creative human - then the end for your academic career.

So, to sum up. Scientists are those people who are becoming adults stay inquisitive avoiding capture paranormal and non-traditional beliefs and acquire a solid scientific base (technology Research).

O.O.Andriyko, Head. Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry ChTF, d. ch. s., prof.

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