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Am I going into Physics for the wrong idea?

  1. Aug 15, 2010 #1
    I need to know this before I truly make the final decision. When I was a child I was fascinated by the concept of immortality and living forever and how time-travel can make it all happen and so i decided set on studying theoretical physics since time-bending is part of it.

    Now when I look at the options available, it seems like the whole immortality thing is not very popular in Physics and perhaps does not even exist. I looked into biomedical engineering and it seems to do that sort of stuff, should I switch?
     
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  3. Aug 15, 2010 #2
    Theoretical Physics is vastly different from extending life expectancy or immortality. These concepts even so aren't of great focus in biomedical research. If you are fascinated by the Universe and want to understand how the mechanics of nature work then enter Physics. If you wish to study organisms and research the complex nature of anatomy and how we can use materials and tissue engineering to extend our lives (not necessarily immortality) then enter biomedical engineering.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2010 #3
  5. Aug 16, 2010 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    I think you will have a hard time studying immortality anywhere, although the cell aging process is something that is quite heavily studied.

    If you are studying physics to study time travel, you are definitely in the wrong line of work.
     
  6. Aug 16, 2010 #5

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    Well you can't say there aren't any theoretical physicists who wrote peer reviewed articles in regard to time travel.

    But I would think that people who are attracted to physics because of stuff like GUT or TOE are quite childish just like people who are into time travel, it doesn't mean they're not in the right line of work.

    And besides you need something to trigger your passion even if it's not realistic, cause without that we'll all be computer programmers.
     
  7. Aug 16, 2010 #6

    HallsofIvy

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    I'm puzzled by your apparent belief that "time travel" has something to do with "immortality". While time travel, if it were possible (no one has yet demonstrated its theoretical possiblity) would allow you to, perhaps, visits time eons in your future, that would not imply your living that long. Your "personal clock", in your personal "coordinate frame" would keep ticking and the length of life you experience would not change just because you travel in time. (Although the Science-Fiction novel The Man Who Folded Himself postulated that the "stress" of time travel actually shortened the man's "personal" life span.)
     
  8. Aug 16, 2010 #7

    Choppy

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    I think a lot of young students are first attracted to physics because of the more "science fiction" type ideas they read about in popular literature or other media. But then, as they move through their studies, they grow up a little and their interests mature.
     
  9. Aug 16, 2010 #8

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    Same with me.
     
  10. Aug 16, 2010 #9
    is an example
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  11. Aug 17, 2010 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    Gretun, I've read most of your posts, and I am beginning to conclude that you are not here to get other people's opinions; you are here to reinforce your own. I'll let you decide if this is the trait of a successful scientist, but your question has been asked and answered: if you think you will be working on time travel and immortality, a career in physics is not for you.
     
  12. Aug 17, 2010 #11
    On the other hand, the five year old that wants to be a starship captain never quite goes away.

    Something that you will learn in physics is that some things just won't work, at this point the wannabe starship captain just figures out the closest thing that they can do.
     
  13. Aug 17, 2010 #12
    Only a few physics departments run courses, or provide research opportunities, in this controversial area.

    Try reading some of Frank J. Tipler's stuff:

    The Physics of Immortality
    The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (with John Barrow)

    These are example of physics academics (with tenure!) who have achieved a career in this area. Why not contact them, or their colleagues, to see how you might get into doing research into "the physics of immortality" - after reading everything they've written of course, you don't to go in sounding dumb...

    By the way, time travel obviously *might* have something to do with immortality. If you can travel forward in time you can get to a place where they might download you to a computer...
     
  14. Aug 17, 2010 #13

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    If you read everything theyv'e written you'll be left with nothing to read during your PhD, I don't think they expect you been an expert even before starting your PhD studies.
     
  15. Aug 17, 2010 #14
    I know my self-doubt is incredibly strong and often affects my decision.

    Does biomedical engineering include replacing human parts with machines?
     
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