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A career in science (physics)

  1. Apr 22, 2015 #1
    Hellow guys, I know this topic is old for many people but I've read alot of articles and forums and I would like to finally have a discussion started by me. So join me!

    I always enjoyed the universe and everything related to it, I am just very curious. As so I've seen alot of Ted X videos about passion, work, talent, etc. and once I heard that people should make a big list of all their intrests, and the biggest intrest, is our passion. And I feel that physics (Cosmos) is my passion.

    As you might have guessed I am inspired and it also might seem like I dream alot, and I actually do! But I am very realistic and I understand that life won't always run as I want (also I see the world in a scientific way, literally). So now you also know that I am an optimist.

    I would really like to study the Universe, I want to make a theory of everything, Stephen Hawking's dream. I understand that it's foolish.. but it's not impossible, is it?

    My mother says that it is very hard to find a job in that area, she says that by the time no one will need me and I will end up working for a minimal salary. It doesn't matter too much for me, atleast at the moment... And that's the real problem! I understand that that might happen, but I see the reality, and there are infinite paralel universes (correct me if I'm wrong), so I will succeed 1/xxxxxxxxx paralel universes.

    Anyways... what do you think and recommend? I feel like I can and will be able to study physics related to Cosmology, even thought it can be a very delicated subject.


    Hi again, I am in the 9th grade. So all I know about Physics is from the increadibly big amount of time I spend watching documentaries, explanations, articles, books (encyclopedeas and others), etc. and also from my classes. I perfectly understand and always understood that the things that I watch and read are the summaries of many years of studying a certain subject, and even the most simple ones might have taken an intire life to get to them. I think that's very respectable.

    I live in Portugal and here, at the end of the 9th grade you must choose an especific area (Science, Languages and Humanitary, Economics and Arts) and I want to choose Science because the school psychologist, who makes tests with the students, noticed that I had very hight statistics on abstract reasoning, logical thinking, mathematical skills, understanding of Physics, mechanical understanding and literature. My curiosity for Physics and Cosmology existed long before.

    Any way, now I feel a little stupid... people often think that I dont understand the reality but I really do.

    Also I mentioned a theory of everything, what I really meant was an equation that could explain everything that happens in the Universe. Yeah pretty unrealistic at the moment and romanticized.

    The things that I would also want to know are real experiences from school to college to work or unemployed, LIFE, recomendations in everything you remember, between others..
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome Crichigo, member introductions is not for asking questions, so I have moved your post. In order for people to give you advice on what to study, we need to know things like what grade you are in, what courses you have taken. The more information you give us on what studies you have already completed (or none), the better we can help you.
  4. Apr 22, 2015 #3


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    It sounds like your idea of physics is currently very romanticized. I don't think any physicist today would say their goal is to find a theory of everything. They instead just work on problems that interest them in many different subfields. If you are talking about quantum gravity/string theory their goal is to unify GR and QFT but I would still not call that a theory of everything since that completely misses fields like condensed matter, cold atoms, and biophysics.

    What you should first do is take physics in undergrad to find out if you even like it. A lot of the people who claim they want to go into physics for the reasons you state will realize they don't even like physics when they take it. It's not just dreaming, it's doing a lot of complicated calculations, experiments, etc.
  5. Apr 22, 2015 #4
    Yes, I agree with what you stated. I would like you to re-check the thread, I edited it. I would like to make more specific questions in the thread. Thank you!
  6. Apr 23, 2015 #5


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    An equation to explain the universe? That's definitely not a realistic reason to go into physics. Physicists understand things by using simplified models that separate scales based on what they are trying to do (although you can't really do this in biophysics). For example, in the realm of everyday life, classical mechanics is most likely sufficient to explain something like a car moving at an everyday speed. No need to use relativistic mechanics. Likewise, quantum mechanics is something that is needed at close distances/low temperatures. String theorists and people who study quantum gravity are trying to make a consistent theory with both gravity and QFT since both are important for objects like black holes which are very small but also very massive.

    Physics is about trying to find an effective model of something based on the important phenomena they are trying to understand. This whole thing with finding an equation for the universe is just something more akin to metaphysics.
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