View Single Post
Feb25-12, 08:13 PM
P: 326
I graduated a four year physics course at a quite highly rated British university in 2011, and am now 24 years old. I managed a to graduate with a 1st and am now into the first year of my PhD, but I sometimes question if I'm really that competent/knowledgeable. I feel as though I have forgotten significant amount of what I have covered in the past 10 or so years of learning physics, with too little time/energy to go back and re-learn it all. So much material hastily learned for exams and then gradually forgotten. You hear so much these days about university degrees becoming easier, so I can't help but wonder if it's true - have I gained a deep understanding of things, or have I just figured out how to pass exams effectively? More than anything I feel poorly informed about what is really going on in current research, I mean, most of my course focussed on things that have been established for decades or longer.

Is this a common feeling amongst people at this stage in their physics career, regardless of which decade we're in? At what point did you start feeling like a "real" physicist (at least in your depth/breadth of understanding, if not in your official job title)?
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on
Flapping baby birds give clues to origin of flight
Prions can trigger 'stuck' wine fermentations, researchers find
Socially-assistive robots help kids with autism learn by providing personalized prompts