As some of you might have read in my other threads I am thinking about studying physics at the university, but I have not made up my mind yet. One of the things that worries me is that the math and the general abstractness of the subject will be too hard for me to grasp. Math was definitely my best subject in high-school, but I have this strange feeling that all the other students will be a bunch of Richard Feynmans who solve differential equations in their sleep, and have no problems whatsoever visualizing extra dimensions. What I am wondering - and I am turning to people who have experience studying/teaching mathematics/physics at the university here - is whether you need to be some kind of math prodigy to succeed in physics and possibly have an academic career? Or is a high IQ, vast interest in science and willingness to work hard enough? I remember seeing an interview with Brian Greene in which he said something I found a bit comforting. The interviewer asked him something like "how do you know about all these complex things?" and he answered "it really comes down to hard work". A quote by Paul Davies also comes to mind: "I believe that the reality exposed by modern physics is fundamentally alien to the human mind, and defies all power of direct visualization. The realization that not everything that is so in the world can be grasped by the human imagination is tremendously liberating." Bottom line: please share your thoughts on how realistic it is for someone like me - intelligent, hardworking and interested, but not necessarily some kind of math prodigy - to start working towards an academic career in physics? Any input is much appreciated.