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I'm thinking about 2nd Ph.D. for particle physics

  1. Jan 19, 2017 #1

    I'm actually taking Ph.D. course for plasma physics and I think I'll finish this course within this year.

    I took classes in quantum field theory and general relativity in last semester luckily and experience of these subject ignited a desire to study theoretical particle physics and cosmology.

    I've experienced physics research for many years and one thing I found from this experience is that I have persistence for finishing goals assigned to me but I'm not a type of person having a brilliant mind. Yes. I think I'm just one of average students; not bad but not superior. I feel such a self-evaluation, especially whenever I solve physics equations. I can handle them by using conventional technique or Matlab, but I hardly think clever short path toward the solution. I can make my understanding deeply for whatever subjects by studying hard for a long time and having self-questioning but I can't see an efficient way of studying so time can be saved.

    So, I would like to ask one question: how much brilliant mind is required for the theoretical particle physics and cosmology? Without this mind, even graduation is difficult?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2017 #2
    Personally I think in science, persistance beats smarts. I'm not sure there is a 'easy' way to understand maths but I am sure if you dedicate a lot of time to it you get better.

    I think the problem is this: everything is easy in hindsight. When you are learning a new topic you get presented the problem and think 'hmm that is interesting I wonder how to solve it...'. In the next stage you learn 'it was solved like this' and think 'wow that was really clever'. This completely misses out the step when they spent ages trying everything they could think of to solve the problem and failing. I believe that is how most science progresses and trying to compare yourself to problems that have already been solved will make you feel un-talented.
  4. Jan 19, 2017 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    I'm very confused. Getting two PhDs is rare to the point of being almost unheard of. Getting them both in the same field is extraordinarily rare - I know of only one case. One can switch fields as a postdoc, but of course you're often competing against people with more direct experience. That said, your angular momentum addition question is more at the upper-division undergrad level. What country are you in? Maybe the degree structure there doesn't map on to what we call a PhD in the US.
  5. Jan 19, 2017 #4
    I'm studying experimental plasma physics in South Korea as a Ph.D. student. I'd always been curious about particle physics, relativities and math but I'd never considered to study them seriously, until taking these classes in last semester. I'm already 32 years old in Western age count so I want to study them before it is too late. Particle physics is too far from what I've done in a graduate program so I thought having a fresh start is the best option for me.

    Maybe I can study them by myself as a habit, but..I think I want to be professional.
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