“How can you say that 2+2 is not 5?! Never ever?! It is only because you believe this. For sure there will be someone, out there, better than you at this, that will be able to make 5 out of 2+2.”That’s about the transcript of a heated discussion I overheard in a near office. Though they were not talking about mathematics, but physics. Basically my colleague was claiming that a given result could not be achieved because of something that is physically not possible.
Just a few days ago I wrote about seeing atoms and that something considered not possible should be considered (basically) as an opportunity in disguise. So I felt the urge of sharing a couple more of thoughts.
It is important – I believe – to clear out the distinction. Photons do not hit a single atom (I’m sure that this is not a formally correct assumption, but it is just for getting the hang of it), so it is true that you can’t see single atoms. And human race stood with that for quite a long time. Then someone had the technology to build a mapping of atoms into a display screen and made the magic, but it is still true that you cannot watch them with your bare eyes or any powerful optical microscope.
It doesn’t matter how much you boss yells at you, it is something that cannot be done. And it would still be impossible if you don’t have the budget to build a complex machinery that does the job with special sensors. If your customer requirements is – I wanna see atoms bare eyes, then it IS impossible.
If you want a significant advance, then you have to mix lateral thinking and quite a lot of money. But, most of all, you have to be ready to accept that though these conditions are required, they do not grant any result.