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I need a job

  1. Apr 11, 2009 #1
    I'm a 16 year old highschool student, and I really need money (for family support). I've been wondering, is there any kind of job where I could work in the area of math or physics? (By the way, I assure you I'd be qualified.) I'm already pulling a job at Hy-Vee, but I'm not a blue collar person. Is there some sort of internship that I'm missing, or am I pretty much doomed?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2009 #2
    Are there any manufacturers close to where you live? Even if they aren't advertising for a position, they might be interested in an intern.

    Out of curiosity, what math/physics are you taking?
     
  4. Apr 11, 2009 #3
    I don't know of any manufacturers. Can you be more specific about what you mean by those? Are you talking about making things, or working at a university?

    This is sad, because here I have to tell you that I'm in Honors Pre-Calculus, and I have not yet had a physics class. I know that doesn't look good on a transcript, the problem is that I have taught myself Calculus and I know quite a lot of physics. I have a unification theory that has been looked at by a few professors from a couple colleges nearby, and they say it is quote, "plausible." I know QM and Relativity very well conceptually, but the math of both is still a bit beyond me. I am learning, though, but what is that worth to managers and professors? - read sarcastically

    Am I still doomed?
     
  5. Apr 11, 2009 #4
    Companies (usually the larger ones) offer internships for high school students, and Co ops for college students. Although it may not be in the area of Physics, or math, it would probably be dealing with some sort of science.

    Looking around Omaha NE, I found these companies that have plants nearby. You could try and talk with them and see if they'd be willing to take on an intern.

    http://www.insulfoam.com/index.php?...id=53:plant-locations-a-directions&Itemid=111

    http://www.siteselection.com/features/2007/nov/nebraska/

    Your best bet might be at your local power plant, if it's close.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  6. Apr 11, 2009 #5
    Thanks a million. How did you know I lived in NE?
     
  7. Apr 11, 2009 #6
    Your public profile :wink:

    To see it, click your user name in the upper right corner of the screen, below the quick links.
     
  8. Apr 11, 2009 #7

    chroot

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    Let's be honest... you're 16 and don't really know much math or physics at all. If you don't know the math behind QM and GR, then you don't know QM and GR... so your attempt at a unified theory is almost guaranteed to be wrong. If I were you I'd drop the bravado and begin concentrating on what you don't know, rather than what you do.

    Power plants, science museums, etc. might be able to offer you an interesting job, but really, there aren't many jobs in science and math even for people with doctoral degrees in the subjects!

    - Warren
     
  9. Apr 11, 2009 #8


    Agreed.



    I was once in that mindset of telling myself how I could "teach myself" or "learn" about these various theories in physics like Quantum Mechanics, Relativity, and the like, by just reading the general concepts in text, no mathematical explanations, proofs, derivations.

    Boy, was I wrong.


    Unfortunately, there are many people who can simply read up a wikipedia article or read a more mainstream, science oriented book, and feel as if they have been enlightened, so it's more common than you think.

    Generally speaking, from the people I know, those who do manage to get some sort of work at a more...technical work place have only managed to land "busy work" type positions, ie - bookkeeping, repetitive, low technical skill required lab positions, and organizing data. And those were classmates of mine taking on AP Physics BC, Chem AP, Calc BC courses, too. I wouldn't expect anything too much at this point in time.
     
  10. Apr 11, 2009 #9
    Thanks for your, uh, how should I put this 'friendly advice'. You sound a lot like a professor I talked to once. Everyone tells me the same thing. You seem angry, as if I somehow offended you by wanting a job in the area of physics. You would be surprised at how much I do know, but I admit that their is much I don't know. Dreaming big is not a sin. Honestly, please, don't put me down.
     
  11. Apr 11, 2009 #10

    chroot

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    I'm not trying to put you down -- I'm trying to bring you back to reality. I applaud your enthusiasm, and am sure you will go on to do big things with your life. Unfortunately, your post is offensive to me, because you're claiming competency you clearly do not actually have. Anyone interviewing you for a job will be equally offended.

    Also, for what it's worth, kids come through here all the time claiming greatness beyond compare. It's just part of being sixteen, I guess, but hearing it over and over gets old.

    - Warren
     
  12. Apr 11, 2009 #11
    Just to clarify, by teaching myself, I actually mean teaching. I get ahold of the textbooks, and if I don't understand something, I go to teachers, or I go here. I don't think I know everything. That would be silly to think that.

    My theory is mostly conceptual, as you may have guessed. Everyday, someone comes up with a new outlook on the universe. Everyday, someone is wrong. Statistically, I should be too. I don't blame you for trying to tell me the hard truth. What you will learn is that I'm stubborn, and no matter what the odds, I keep at it.
     
  13. Apr 11, 2009 #12
    I don't mean to be conceited in any way, but I think competency is a quality one measures accurately if and only if they know the person well enough. I don't think I'm Einstein here, but I work hard to know the things I do.

    In reality, you're right. noone would probably hire me. I'm just a little desperate at the time being.
     
  14. Apr 11, 2009 #13

    chroot

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    You are not the first person to attempt to teach himself by reading textbooks and asking occasional questions. That method is admirable, but is unfortunately nowhere near as good as taking actual classes taught by experts in the field.

    There is absolutely no point in trying to extend mankind's understanding of physics without understanding mankind's current knowledge of physics first. I hope we can both agree on that.

    Being stubborn can be a virtue, but A's in a few physics classes will help you a great deal more than stubbornness.

    - Warren
     
  15. Apr 11, 2009 #14

    chroot

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    By the way, if your goal is to support your family, I should mention that jobs in mathematics and physics research are some of the rarest and least-paying jobs around, at least in terms of dollars per unit effort.

    As others have said, you'd be much more likely to find a job working with computers or business information technology, and there's a lot of useful stuff to learn there -- even though it's not as "glamorous" as being a physicist.

    When I was 16, I worked for Time-Warner Cable in their administrative office. I mostly did daily chores involving database maintenance, but I also wrote some small programs and repaired some big computers in sites all across the state. It was a perfect job for my level of competence, and I was paid quite well. Maybe you could look into such a position in your area.

    - Warren
     
  16. Apr 11, 2009 #15
    I have no option at the time being to take any classes. Next year, I have my first physics class. I have no other way to learn.

    I agree with you on the knowledge part. What I have noticed is that sometimes the current knowledge is full of fallacies. I have not met one person on this earth that can tell me the difference between a field and an ether. We have some fancy math in QFT that gives us more meaning to a field, but what is a field? What is it comprised of? For that matter, particles are described as excitation in these fields according to QFT, so do we really know what a partcle is?

    The current understanding of physics is poor. I don't understand how some can justify understanding it. To get a better understanding requires thinking outside the box, and therefore, beyond the now. That is all I am doing.
     
  17. Apr 11, 2009 #16
    I thank you for the input. I'm honestly terrible with computers. I think math and physics is the only thing I remotely have any skills in, besides playing piano and drums, which is sad, because you're right, it wouldn't pay much.
     
  18. Apr 11, 2009 #17

    chroot

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    A field is a mathematical formalism that assigns a value (scalar, vector, or tensor) to every point in some space. An ether is a substance that fills space and has the mechanical properties necessary for light to propagate through it.
    No, we don't "really know" what a particle is. We have mathematical models which predict the behavior of the particles. To some, that seems like an admission of failure, but it is not. We cannot ever have any "human experience" of what it means to be an electron -- the very concepts of "sight" and "touch" do not apply to them. The very best we can do is to develop a model which describes their behavior.
    You have never taken a single physics class. How on earth do you think you are fit to judge the entire science as "poor?" :rolleyes:

    You are well on your way to becoming an arrogant, self-assured crackpot.

    - Warren
     
  19. Apr 11, 2009 #18

    Vanadium 50

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    Getting back to the original question, stubbornness, arrogance, and thinking entry-level work is somehow beneath you are not endearing traits to many employers. I'm a professional physicist, and when I was 16 I stuffed envelopes for a job. Thousands upon thousands of envelopes. After a couple years, they let me move to the factory where I made cardboard boxes for shipping, and finally worked my way up to a punch press.

    I would suggest when communicating with prospective employers that you tone this down as much as you can.
     
  20. Apr 11, 2009 #19

    chroot

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    Exactly my point, Vanadium 50. Well said. I'm sometimes shocked at the sense of entitlement that kids can develop.

    I've totally read some textbooks, you know, enough to realize that they're all wrong. I deserve a job doing physics, because, come on, I'm clearly so smart that I deserve one. Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie!

    - Warren
     
  21. Apr 11, 2009 #20
    Defining the field as "numbers in space" shouldn't detract from the idea that it has physical reality. “It occupies space. It contains energy. Its presence eliminates a true vacuum.” The vacuum is free of matter, but not free of field. The field creates a "condition in space.” This sounds a lot like an ether to me. An ether fills up space. It is always present...

    In QFT, a photon is regarded as an excitation of the field. Without the field, there is no way that light could exist, or travel. In a similar way, an ether allows for the propagation of light through a vacuum. The ether just doesn’t explain how it allows for light to travel.

    I think a field is a more sophisticated version of an ether. If you think otherwise, tell me why. But what is a field, besides numbers. Does a field exist in reality, because the last time I checked, numbers were an invention of man, not God.
     
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