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Are there any happy particle physicist?

  1. Sep 11, 2010 #1
    Hi all,

    I really need your feedback on this especially from particle physicist and biophysicist. When I entered grad school I wanted to do research in theoretical particle physics, but now two years later I realized that I haven't met any particle physicist that is enthusiastic or happy about their work; I can say that I only met frustrated particle physics theorists. they all seem to have this conception about the field; extremely hard: QFT, GR, SM, may be QCD in addition a lot to learn about different codes and long list; research is even harder with too much abstraction that the physics get lost with the complexity of mathematics. Most importantly I haven't met anyone who is optimistic about the future of theoretical particle physics with many considered it to have reached dead end.

    On the other hand I have met very happy biophysicists; First It is very easy to study biophysics and research can be started right away with no need to have a long list of textbooks to study first; I know students who are publishing after less than a year in the field. It is more tangible, they know what they are doing and for what purpose. the grad students I know are working on a new subfield in biophysics that is still emerging and thus have tremendous opportunities to excel and have an impact on this emerging field. I don't think particle physicist have this feeling of worth or importance of their work. in addition to this is the availability of job opportunities in biophysics and I don't think I can say the same about particle physics.

    I and one friend (a particle physicist) were talking about this and he said he worked very hard to study the most difficult subjects and then gets low pay in addition to so much frustration. when I asked him why he doesn't change he told he already invested time in that field and it is too late. does anyone feel the same?

    I was very excited about particle physics but when I was faced with many frustrated particle physicist and much happier biophysicist I am losing my enthusiasm for the field. I would like to ask theoretical particle physics: are happy in your field? do you go everyday to your office with enthusiasm that you are achieving something? Do you still remember the reasons you decided to do research in this field? Did you enjoy studying QFT?

    I now have a choice either do particle physics or biophysics, and I don't know which one to choose. everyone says, and I agree, biophysics is better and that I will be happier doing it. But there is something that is pulling me to particle physics as if I have some kind of obsession with the subject. I know most probably I will struggle in it, not achieve much, be under constant pressure, but still when I think that the smarter decision is to give it up I feel an itch. I really need your advice or comments.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
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