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Can I send a research paper to college?

  1. Feb 5, 2013 #1
    Hi, I'm 14 and i like physics too much to just stick with the Newton laws at school, I learnt Calculus and Special Relativity, and now I'm learning Mathematical Background for Quantum, I was wondering... After I learn Quantum can I send a research to college (my dad gave me this idea)? And if I did, Does it help me for my career? I want to study mathematical-physics in college. Any help? Thanks in advance...
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2013 #2
    Can you clarify what you mean? Do you mean write a research paper and send it to a university?
  4. Feb 5, 2013 #3
  5. Feb 5, 2013 #4


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    There's no way that you will be able to do original research after studying some math and a book on quantum mechanics. I don't think there's anything you can send to a university that will help your career. Just focus on getting good grades, and keep studying a little extra on the side.
  6. Feb 5, 2013 #5
    What is it you're hoping to happen as a result of sending in a researcher paper? To get it published? If so, it would be a much better idea to approach the university and ask if you can contribute to a professor's research work in the experimental physics department. I know of students who did this as an extracurricular for a few years during high school, and as a result got their names on research papers before starting university.

    The fact is that, while learning about relativity and quantum mechanics as a high schooler is certainly impressive, it is extremely unlikely you're going to come up with any new results on your own that will merit publication. Even graduate students don't just go off on their own and write stuff—they do research that's directed by their more experienced advisors, who know how to formulate good research questions and how to go about trying to answer them.
  7. Feb 5, 2013 #6
    actually my friend, is a Physics professor at a university close to my house, I was thinking about asking him what i can do... idea?
  8. Feb 5, 2013 #7
    That sounds like a very good idea. Assuming he's in experimental physics, that is. Contributing to theoretical physics usually requires some very advanced mathematics, but just about anyone can learn some basic laboratory methods and contribute to experimental work. It would be a very good learning experience for you. So, yes, I encourage you to talk to your friend and see if you could either do some work for him, or see if he can introduce you to one of his colleagues who would be willing to mentor you.

    The important thing is that you look at this as an opportunity to learn. If you manage to meaningfully help with a publishable discovery, that would be a nice bonus. But that shouldn't be your main objective.
  9. Feb 5, 2013 #8
    my main objective is to be a Physicist... a great one
  10. Feb 5, 2013 #9
    Your immediate main objective should be to learn as much as you can from experienced people. That is what a research project at a university will help you to do. If you walk in the door with grandiose ideas about making some great discovery while in high school, you will probably (a) wind up very discouraged before too long, and (b) be a bit of an annoyance for the senior students who you will be helping.
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