The most important thing to me being here in Allahabad at the Science Conclave, meeting Nobel laureates was the reinforcement in belief of the reason to do science and that there are people who share this pov with me (couldnt get over Darwin).
Prof. Friedman replied "the feeling that you are the first person in this civilization (I loved this word, this dimension to the issue) to find something out is just irresistible!" And of course the joy in understanding, pure understanding. I had no direct connection to the questions about quarks (apart from the fact that we all are made up of quarks, still mysterious particles that make up the protons), but just to understand something is utopic, and something so fundamental...sigh.
Some pretty questions that I could ask him:
1. Why does the attractive force between quarks increase as the distance between them increases? This is so opposite to the way forces between larger particle work. (Couldnt completely understand what he said but i realised that he took the question to the finer level by saying that the color of quarks increases as they go apart and color is analogous to charge and that is why the force increases. But then why does color increase as they go apart??)
2. Would the laws of physics have been different if the universe would have started in a different way than the "Big Bang"? ("Great question", he genuinely said.)
3. Why did he chose to do science? (This was the one where he replied about the joy of understanding.)