Ed Witten's early years?

  • Thread starter pivoxa15
  • Start date
2,234
1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Does anyone know about Witten's early years such when he was in High School and University? He didn't even do physics as an undergrad and instead majored in history and minored in Linguistics. Apparently he tried other things after his BA like politics, economics and mathematics before finally settling into physics in grad school. How does someone be accepted into physics grad school without a physics undergraduate degree? How did he become a physics professor with only around 7 years of experience doing physics (presumably he had not done phyiscs in high school)?
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

2,234
1
He is certainly quite amazing. I wonder how he was able to pick up physics so quickly. Why didn't he do it earlier? Why did he decide to drop out of the maths postgrad?
 
34
1
Why don't you ask him yourself:

witten@sns.ias.edu

If he is too busy to respond, ask one of his research buddies.

John G.
 
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,231
785
A. Zee, in the preface to his book Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, tells the following story about Witten.

A. Zee said:
The genesis of this book goes back to the quantum field theory course I taught as a beginning assistant professor at Princeton University. I had the enormous good fortune of having Ed Witten as my teaching assistant and grader. Ed produced lucidly written solutions to the homework problems I assigned, to the extent that the next year I went to the chairman to ask "What is wrong with the TA I have this year? He is not half as good as the guy last year!"
I feel sorry for the guy who had to fill Witten's shoes.

Regards,
George
 

Related Threads for: Ed Witten's early years?

  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
24
Views
7K
Replies
57
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
4K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
40
Views
11K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
4K
Top