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Research hours

  1. May 23, 2005 #1
    How many hours does a scientist have to use as research hours in order to solve the highest level of scientific problem?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2005 #2
    That's a broad question. The "highest level" of a problem is a relevant term and surely the amount of research depends on what they're researching!

    Please specify a little more.
  4. May 23, 2005 #3


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    even to do any viable research at all in mathematics, i had to use all the available hours i could squeeze out of the day and the night, often going without sleep.

    It should be obvious that a field in which people like Gauss, Riemann, Fermat, Wiles, etc participate, an ordinary human has to give all he has got to do anything worthwhile at all.

    how hard does an athlete have to train to win even one meet? how hard does a writer have to work even to publish one book? or a small businessman to avoid going broke? we all have to work as hard as we possibly can to do anything worthwhile at all.

    it is not a question of, "how hard do you have to work to do something first rate?". it is more like even if you work as hard as you can your whole life, will you ever do anything really first rate?

    the joy is in the journey, not the destination. hard work itself is rewarding, knowing you did your best. certainly less than your best will not avail much.
    Last edited: May 23, 2005
  5. May 23, 2005 #4


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    That reminds me of something G. H. Hardy wrote in _A Mathematician's Apology_:

    "Most people can do nothing at all well ... It is a tiny minority who can do anything really well, and the number of men who can do two things really well is negligible. If a man has any genuine talent, he should be ready to make almost any sacrifice in order to cultivate it to the full."
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