Every year we get a stream of freshmen who want to major in physics and when I ask why, they always say they are interested in "quantum" and "string theory" and "relativity". The catch? They have no idea what those things are even about.
I admit I was the same way, except I hadn't heard about "string theory" until I was already majoring in physics.
It's kind of like how when people think of the military, they think of commandos, and not the engineers, the cooks, the janitors, etc.