I'm only 15 but I'm thinking about what i need to be a successful physicist. I want to know what kind of strengths a good physicist should have and also what sets one physicist from the rest?
We should have. Actually Feynman had math as a hobby. Yet i don't know why but when we talk about physics I forget all about math. I never consider it something different. Its like a single package. Sorry OP but being good at math is also one of the most fundamental qualities of a physicist, especially if you are heading to theoretical physics.Five posts in and no one has mentioned mathematical fluency?
How much does, "good at math" mean?We should have. Actually Feynman had math as a hobby. Yet i don't know why but when we talk about physics I forget all about math. I never consider it something different. Its like a single package. Sorry OP but being good at math is also one of the most fundamental qualities of a physicist, especially if you are heading to theoretical physics.
I am no expert but i know that we need a lot of math at the start like differential equations and all the levels of calculus but then it depends on the specific field and the math that is most usefull for every field. There are some posts on the forums linking every field of physics with the needed math.How much does, "good at math" mean?
Awesome. I liked it immensely.Rather than make up my own list, I will give you some sources to look into to.
There is plenty of information about this and it's available in different ways from the greatest physicists. I will try to explain.
At least for theoretical physics, there is a web page on this topic at https://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~gadda001/goodtheorist/.
This is the most helpful resource I have found which is relevant to your question. This essay is by t'Hooft, a Nobel Laureate. He not only gives some general advice, but follows up with a complete course outline for learning physics including links to free online books!
I think it also helps to read some of the more popular works by the greatest scientists. For example, Einstein wrote some books at a popular level. You can certainly read these while still in high school. This helps you become more familiar with how the greatest minds operate. They were great and stood out from the crowd not only because of superior IQ but because of how they used their intelligence to best effect.
But there are many other great physicists besides Einstein. Beware of the "cult of personality." (Some physicists thought Einstein was on the wrong path in his later years and produced little of value during those years).
You can go down the list of all the Nobel laureates as well as the other great physicists, including Newton, Faraday, and Maxwell. Faraday is another good example of someone who wrote popular books on science.
It's also helpful to read something about the lives of the great scientists. Many of them faced great challenges. But they kept going anyway.
A scientist needs to learn how to think for himself or herself. Learn what you can, be respectful of people, but ultimately make up your own mind and follow your own instincts.
I hope this helps. Best wishes.
I really believe those are very good points and I wish I could give one more "like"; but the forum will just turn that into a removal of the "like".In order of importance:
#1 An analytical AND creative mind.
#2 Being obsessively curious.
#3 Grit & a solid work ethic.
#4 Being open to new ideas and learning from others.