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Is it true that

  1. Jan 26, 2008 #1
    ...many physicists get addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, and or coffee from getting their degree (from dealing with the stress I guess )? It seems like many have these kinds of habits...like my own teacher who will take breaks in-between classes and bring back a particular aroma into the room, sometimes causing significant discomfort on the classes' part.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2008 #2


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    Only the human ones.
  4. Jan 26, 2008 #3

    Chi Meson

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    I don't think coffee counts as an "addiction" in the same way that cigarettes and alcohol can be. I personally do drink coffee, and am aware that if I don't have coffee tomorrow morning, I'll get a bad headache. Yet I will often not have coffee for a few days or a week or so, and put up with one bad day.

    And there is nothing special about Physics that makes people go to cigarettes either. I've met a much larger percentage of poets and artists who smoke much more than the scientists I've met. (Having degrees in both Physics and Creative Writing I have met a lot of both).
  5. Jan 26, 2008 #4


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    My experience is that scientists are less likely to smoke or have alcohol addictions (though may drink socially) than less educated people. Now, coffee on the other hand, is a common addiction. It comes with the long hours of work.
  6. Jan 27, 2008 #5
    Smoking is also cultural - in Canada most of the smokers were from Asia or the middle east. In the Netherlands it is much more permissable to smoke - and up until a few years ago smoking was actually permitted in the cafeteria of the building where I currently work!

    As for the other vices..... At the CERN cafeteria there is a special line-up JUST for the coffee machine so you don't have to wait in the cash register queue with all the people buying food.

    That's really cool! What lead you to your second degree?
  7. Jan 27, 2008 #6

    Chi Meson

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    Looooooooooong story. Short version: I got reading glasses halfway through college and discovered that I did enjoy reading when I didn't get a headache. I thought for a while that I could make it as a writer of science fiction / science non-fiction. Fizzled. I still feel like I have that one great book in me, somewhere. If only I could find ... the ... plot...
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