Dr Bry Murray
Reading | Learning | Teaching | Serving
Physics is something we see and do every single day. Physics isn't hard, though sometimes the way it is taught can make it seem impossible.
I spend a large amount of time helping people understand and learn physics, they all agree that it is far easier than you think.
Bryan Murray grew up in inner city Liverpool, England: home of Liverpool football club, the Liver birds, the Ferry across the Mersey and the Beatles.
This was a time when unemployment was widespread, there was considerable social unrest, and life was harsh for people who had little money. When he was at school it seemed that everyone was out of work, discouraged and demoralised, even the teachers. With no mentor to advise or guide him, and despite careers advice that consisted of ‘There’s nothing down for you, lad, get used to it,’
Dr.Bry surprised everyone, including himself, in securing a place at university. Having nothing better to do, off he went.
This decision changed the course of his life, but he did not fully grasp the implications for two decades.
This is his story.
Having gained multiple degrees culminating in a PhD Physics at the prestigious University of Nottingham in the English Midlands, Dr Bry left academia behind to spend the next two years crafting a highly successful Internet web-development consultancy which encompassed coding, extensive training and coaching courses for numerous FTSE 100 businesses in London.
A sought-after programmer and expert in the creation and delivery of bespoke training solutions for clients both corporate and domestic, Dr Bry now returns to his first and greatest passion.
This is your invitation to join him on a Magical Mystery Tour as he brings his characteristic enthusiasm and extensive theoretical and practical expertise to the world of physics.
Vocation (from Latin vocātiō, meaning 'a call, summons') is an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained, or qualified.
As a kid, I knew about vocations, but I had no idea that they might exist outside the church. That was one call that I never received, and It didn’t cross my mind that there might be others. I had no idea that there might be any specific direction that my life should take to make best use of my gifts and passions. It had never occurred to me that I might have any gifts or passions. People from my neck of the woods left school and got jobs if they were lucky and that was that.
I went to university because there didn’t seem to be anything else to do. I got a place on a Mining Engineering course, but I saw it more as a route out of Liverpool and away from the crazy people rather than a destination in itself. On the first day of term I set out with a campus map in my hand to find the Mining Engineering department. On my way I saw the Physics building, and instead of walking past and taking the first left, my feet carried me inside. I asked if I could change courses and study for a degree in Physics instead. They said OK.
People usually put a lot of thought into their choice of study at University, but for me, it was the obvious choice. Back home in Liverpool I hadn’t realised, but something inside me simply could not walk past the Physics department. Maybe it was meant to be. Maybe that was the beginning of something.
If so, it took a long, long time for the penny to drop. Loving the student lifestyle and finding the subject fascinating, I added a Masters’ degree and a doctorate to my BSc in Physics, but when that was over, again, I was aimless.
It took me a while, but a computer course eventually led me once again out of Liverpool to London. I found that the Big City was bigger than I’d realised thanks to the World Wide Web, and I hit the ground running. Nice apartment, fantastic job, constant new challenges, interesting people and loads of money. And London is great. If you ever get a chance to visit, do. So life was pretty good. And yet… at the risk of sounding like a cliché, there was something missing.
One evening I was out at a retirement party, talking with the retiree, who was a good friend of mine. We were discussing what he might do with the spare time he was soon to have, and he suddenly turned to me and said, ‘You need to quit your job and go and tell people about physics. That’s what you’re meant to do.’
It wasn’t the first time someone had said that to me. In fact, when I started to consider as I waited for the Tube at St Pauls, I realised that a fair number of people had offered me that advice over the years. Clearly I must talk about physics a lot, and my fascination and enjoyment of the subject must be obvious. I started to explore.
I quickly established that a traditional role as a physics teacher or university lecturer was not a good fit. I’m not one for routine and hierarchy and bureaucracy – maybe that’s the Scouser in me. I wanted to make a difference to people, to share with them the wonder of this vast and complex field of science, but to make it engaging and accessible. I wanted to come alongside people and talk with them, as I did with my retired friend at the party, not stand at the front and lecture from text books until people’s eyes glazed over.
The best bit of my job, for me, was when I got to bring my web solutions to the client and teach them how to use it. To meet people, answer questions, train up staff, solve problems, get involved. I loved seeing people gain in confidence and mastery and learn something that they quite often felt apprehensive about, and the feedback was that I was good at it. More than a few wanted me to stay in touch to encourage and troubleshoot long into the future and I got a real kick out of that mentoring role.
Could I apply this to physics? My heart jumped at the idea, but quitting my job to pursue this avenue was a real leap of faith. It was only after I’d made the big step out of IT that I realised that the skillset I had spent so long honing was just as useful in my new direction as it had been before. Things seemed to slot into place. Funny, that. I might be slow on the uptake, but I get there in the end.
So, for a scientist, not a very scientific conclusion: Am I called to talk about physics? It feels…right. I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
We are so busy, that often we don't see just how amazing this world really is. Take a minute each day to really stop and look at it.
If you let them, those 60 seconds will change your life.
Dr Bry - The Physics guy
The whole of physics can be described in a single sentence: one line. You want to know what that line is?
That's it in a nutshell.
Something is ALWAYS moving. It could be electrons in a wire, atoms in a gas, a car on a race track, planets in orbit around a sun, or the sun within a galaxy. From the tiniest to the largest it all comes down to things that move and explaining that movement.
Physics is an attempt to describe natural phenomena, it is an experimental science, it can be seen as a bunch of equations. After all, maths appears to be the language of physics.
But physics is far more than just those things. It is a history of man's pursuit of knowledge and understanding: to figure out how we got here, where we came form and where are we going.
For me, it is the Great Game, and everyone gets to play. And that includes you.
Standing on the shoulders of giants, we boldly go were no one has gone before...
I remember when I first came across Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was a kid, and I was watching the movie ‘Pumping Iron’ on video, having recorded it from the TV. Remember VCRs? If not, google ‘VCR’. These were the golden days.
Anyway, I watched this movie a couple of times. I thought it was great. This guy, Arnie, incredible. I was inspired. Watched it a few more times. Checked my biceps: nothing.
I kept watching it, but made no progress. None. Then my mate suggests we go down the gym, just like Arnie in the movie. I thought that made sense, so off we went to Vic’s gym in Liverpool.
In the film, Arnie’s doing 500lb squats, and things like that. He’s curling 100lbs in each arm. I am inspired. I load up the bar and think about how great it’ll be to have a body like Arnie’s. Right. I’ve got the belt on, I’ve got the stance, cracked my knuckles and everything. Here I go…
Nothing. Just a skinny kid trying to lift 400lbs. That bar is not budging.
Vic comes over and asks me what I’m doing. I explain that I want to be like Arnie. To give him credit, he kept a straight face, nodded a few times, then got me to take off all the weights except a couple of little tiny ones. Then he shows me how to do some reps with these.
I was disappointed. I’d watched the movie – not a single ounce of muscle. Went to the gym and had to start with tiny weights (that turned out to be really heavy).
You’re probably shaking your head and asking ‘Dude, did you really think that you could just watch videos of people lifting weights and pumping iron and put on muscle? Are you kidding?’
Everyone knows that if you want to put on muscle you’ve got to get down to the gym and BE the dude pumping iron. Not only that, but you have to start out with little weights, the lightest ones; something a bit more manageable. You need to learn about how to use weights, and what specific exercises to do. And then you need to do it.
Imagine: that skinny kid trying to lift 400lbs like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Yet when we come to something like physics, we think that dipping into a few books, or watching an online video or two will enable us to become the physics equivalent of Arnie. Then, when it doesn’t happen, we give up, thinking we can’t do it. We get discouraged and demoralised and we give up. It’s too hard. It’s not for us.
We’re going about it the wrong way. This is just a skinny kid trying to lift 400lbs on his first visit to the gym.
Dr Bry was born, and will die, a RED
I would love to sit down with you and share what I’ve learned; about physics, about life and about chasing your dream, learning new things, never giving up and going after what you want out of life. It’s never too late. You can do it.
There’s a universe out there just waiting to be explored.
The world is a complicated place, and the ability to think, focus and solve problems is your killer app. Find out how you can use physics to gain the confidence to get the job done. Sign up for the FREE course NOW!