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Another set of questions.

  1. Sep 28, 2011 #1
    1) How do I apply for CERN for physics?
    2) Is Theoretical Physics hard?
    3) What is a good college for Theoretical Physics?
    4) Please tell me an easy way to memorize things in Physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2011 #2

    Ken G

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    Gold Member

    I think you are putting the cart before the horse here. The process of learning physics is a little like the process of getting married. You just start out dating, and seeing what this "relationship" thing is all about. You don't say "which is the best social venue for finding my future spouse", because you wouldn't be ready to find your future spouse until you have learned what dating even is. Start with a physics book, and see if you like it, see if you have an interest and an aptitude. That's like finding out if you are compatible with your date. Then you need to stretch yourself, do a few things that take you out of your comfort zone, risk frustration and disappointment. All those things come first-- before you decide to go to CERN and figure out neutrinos. Yes, physics is hard, and no, there is no point in learning how to memorize it, physics is about understanding not memorizing. Achieving understanding requires a lot of devoted effort (just like dating), and you have to like it along the way or you'll never make it to the conclusion.
  4. Sep 28, 2011 #3
    Thank you for your answer. You are really a great help! I'll try to follow your comment over there. :)
  5. Sep 28, 2011 #4
    Xpeter how much math do you know? Please give some background information about yourself.
  6. Sep 28, 2011 #5
    Where are you? USA? UK? Hard to recommend a university or college if we don't know which country you're in ;)

    Also, what is your mathematical and physics background?

    Ken G has already said what I would have said. Especially that physics is understanding and not just memorization.
  7. Sep 28, 2011 #6
    This seems like a homework assignment from middle school I had to do, where you were supposed to answer a bunch of questions about a career you were interested in...

    Most people don't work 'for CERN' when they are working on research at CERN. They are actually employed (or attending) an organization that is affiliated with CERN in some way. Whether that is working at a university group for one of the detectors, or maybe they are working some subsystem of the experiment (for example the cooling system for the magnets) - it varies with the person. For instance - see this job advertisement as an example: http://careers.aps.org/jobs#/detail/4455940 - if someone gets hired for this job they will be employed by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in the US.

    It also turns out that CERN is mainly an experimental facility. There are some theorists working there, but the majority of the work is some facet of one or the other experiment happening there.
  8. Sep 28, 2011 #7
    Very good post Ken. A lot of people go into certain fields and then figure out that its really not for them.

    1) Google is your best friend. Google will never leave you, never fight you, and never complain. It will grab information at your whim, without question. It will never doubt you, never cheat you, and never judge you. Learn how to use it properly and it will be your best companion. But if you don't use it, it is only your loss. Google doesn't care, neither does life.
    2) It isn't exactly a walk at the park. There is a reason a lot of people don't go into physics. But if you absolutely love it, time is the only factor. And I'm not talking about an infatuation that comes and goes. I'm talking about mature love. Not the kind were you date a girl for a couple months then get bored.
    3) Need more details??
    4) If you want to memorize things go into biology, you will fare out better.
  9. Sep 29, 2011 #8
    Quite a lot. In fact, I'm first place in my class.
  10. Sep 29, 2011 #9
    Well, I'm a Korean living in the Philippines.
  11. Sep 29, 2011 #10
    What level math? I was first in my pre-calc class but that meant nil, 0, nada, nothing. Hehe =p
  12. Sep 30, 2011 #11
    Ummm... Second year high school.
  13. Sep 30, 2011 #12
    Don't focus much on physics now focus on math. Make sure that you know Calculus when you start College so you can take the calculus based physics. Also if your school offers AP physics take that. Don't focus to much on popular science and abstract topics like Dark holes and string theory.
  14. Sep 30, 2011 #13
    Alright, which was the point I was trying to make in the beginning. Not to discourage you but you do still have a long way to go, keep your options open. Your thinking about working for CERN but you still haven't explored much of mathematics and physics out there to get a feel for it. Keep doing mathematics and physics, they are beautiful. But don't pigeonhole toward CERN just yet.

    Try to memorize as little as possible, if you start from now to have a deep knowledge of mathematics and physics, I'm sure you can make a great physicist one day.
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