1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Other Can a normal IQ person study Physics?

  1. Sep 9, 2016 #1
    I love physics and maths,I am17,from Malaysia...My questions:Should I have a high IQ to study physics in university?Is it useful in the future?Are there many girls like to study physics?Or I am a weirdo? Haha, just kidding.I need answers and thank you!I hope Albert Einstein always right:Imagination is more important!
    Oh yeah,I am a newbie in this forum hahahahha
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2016 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    A person with a normal IQ can absolutely study physics. Someone who is passionate and hardworking and excited about the material will win over someone who is brilliant but lazy.

    Where I went to school in the USA about 1/3 of the students were female.

    It's a very enjoyable subject.

    Engineering is similar in some ways (you take a lot of math and physics to begin) but has been job prospects if that is important to you.

    Good luck!
  4. Sep 9, 2016 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    IQ tests do not measure "intelligence".

    And no, Imagination is not "more important", at least not when one does not have much education yet.

  5. Sep 9, 2016 #4
    A guy came up with different tests and found out that there was a correlation between a person's ability to score in them. Meaning if a person did good in one test, he would do good in others as well. He hypothesed there was some basic quality because of which this happened. He compiled these tests and "intelligence quotient" was an average of the scores. Whatever this test actually tests, it certainly isn't "intelligence". Intelligence is a very vague concept. Do not worry about it.

    Now it would be a problem if you score below 60. The purpose of this test was to test children on the lower end of the spectrum. So unless your therapist tell you to worry, you should absolutely discard this test.

    Just solve a lot of problems. Brain is more than capable to take care of rest.
  6. Sep 9, 2016 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    IQ scores seem to be written off as hocus every time they're mentioned on PF. A very apt quote from a researcher in the field;
    He also goes on to say;
    My advice to the OP is not to worry about IQ, unless you're had a test administered by a professional then you don't know your IQ (online tests do not give correct results).
    It doesn't define your success, there's nothing you can do to change it (much), so forget about IQ and do your best. Hard work and perseverance are much more important traits.
  7. Sep 9, 2016 #6
    My love for physics overcame my difficulties in math.

    Love for the subject and willingness to work hard are more important than your perception of your intelligence or what you have been told.
  8. Sep 9, 2016 #7
    :oldeyes:Yours comments inspired and encouraged me a lot,appreciate it!
    I will be more confident,diligent and stay passionate in my physics!
    At least I know,normal IQ is not the great obstacle to study physics,but depends on how deep my passionate in physics.Yours advises improve my self-confidence,thanks again.:oldbiggrin::oldeyes:
  9. Sep 22, 2016 #8
    One of my teachers while I was in high school was always telling me that a diligent student surpassed the clever one.
    The more systematic and dedicated you are the more chances you have to understand and succeed in physics and generally in your life.
  10. Sep 22, 2016 #9


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    IQ is not too clear a meaning. High IQ does not say anything about temperament and it does not say anything about effort or the quality of effort. Could you imagine finding someone with an advanced degree in Physics who is uninterested in Physics?
  11. Sep 30, 2016 #10
    I have seen a study where people who scored better in the visual-spatial tests tend to be better physicists and engineers. However even this study doesn't mean that someone with average visual-spatial test won't make a good phys/eng. Its just a tendency.

    What matters is that it makes you happy. No matter what you end up really wanting to understand concepts, enjoy talking it out, and are likely to stick it out through tough problems even if it seems like you're the only one that doesn't understand it.

    This happens to me sometimes where I have no idea what is going on, but after some practice and hard work everything makes sense and it feels great when it happens.

    If you love the subject, jump in and work hard. You will succeed and love the outcome!
  12. Sep 30, 2016 #11


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    The only tests that have any meaning are physics tests in your physics courses. Everything else is hogwash.
  13. Sep 30, 2016 #12
    If you love physics and maths then your IQ is guaranteed to be above average.
    Average IQ amounts to being able to figure if a shopkeeper gave you the correct change if you buy something.

    Oh, and welcome to PF
  14. Sep 30, 2016 #13


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Someone with above average interest, BUT BELOW AVERAGE "IQ", who studies hard is very likely to learn better or more than others who put in less effort.
  15. Sep 30, 2016 #14


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Perhaps even more importantly, you'll learn more than you would have if you hadn't tried and put in the effort.
  16. Sep 30, 2016 #15
    I think the idea of 'intelligence quotient' is a bit suspect anyway, just like the idea of eugenics,
  17. Oct 1, 2016 #16
    Not at all.

    Success in physics really does require significant abilities and accomplishment in math.

    If someone can't complete 90-100% of the precalculus pie in ALEKS, they are not likely ready to begin a physics major. Likewise, I'd want to see ACT scores in both math and science to assess a student's probability of succeeding in a physics major without some more work in high school math first (through pre-calc).

    An ACT score of 20 in math is not promising at all for success in a physics major. Not that it's a death knell, it just means more preparatory work is needed. An math ACT score of 30 is much more promising.
  18. Oct 1, 2016 #17


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Wait a minute, when did they remove math from physics?

    I think you're misreading the context of the post.
  19. Oct 1, 2016 #18
    The context is a 17 year old asking about the IQ required to study physics. IQ may not matter, but math skills certainly do.

    All my As in physics didn't help me when I got to college, because I was poor at math, and my earlier physics courses didn't help me in the math I needed to succeed in a physics major.

    Likewise, more students have struggled and failed in the physics courses I taught due to their poor math skills. Their success in earlier physics courses did not help them. Their weaknesses in math left them unprepared.

    Math is to physics what reading is to history. You won't learn enough math to succeed in a physics course in the process of the course any more than a history course will teach you to read.
  20. Oct 1, 2016 #19


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Again, this is very tangential to the rest of the discussion.

    No one said math isn't important.
  21. Oct 1, 2016 #20


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    He is trying to say, and very well, that IQ is not so important; but that Mathematics preparation is important.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Threads - normal person study Date
Admissions Personal Statement for my PhD application Dec 4, 2017
Studying Is it normal to be a dunce in some areas of physics? Jan 31, 2017
Testing Physics GRE and Normal Modes Sep 14, 2016
Is it normal to keep forgetting? Jul 10, 2016