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Science, a game for Young men?

  1. Apr 28, 2006 #1
    people said that most great ideas and developments in sciences (especially physics and mathematics) are made by young men.

    For example, Einstein, Heisenberg, Newton, Ramanujan, and so on.

    Nowadays, we see that most peiople get their phD at nearly 28. Do you think 28 is stilla Golden Period?

    For the scientists and mathematicians I list above, their "golden period" are around 21~25.

    Do you agree that, 28 is no longer the best period to do science?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2006 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    How do we know this isn't simply a manfestation of the time? No, I don't buy into this. In fact, I think most scientist would rip apart such a circumstantial claim given most any other subject.

    Edit: Btw, I realize that this is a commonly held belief, but I think is a bit of scientific myth. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2006
  4. Apr 28, 2006 #3
    "Mathematics is a young man's game" -- G H Hardy
  5. Apr 28, 2006 #4


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    "Young men should prove theorems, old men should write books." - GH Hardy

    A vacuous piece of evidence- all Fields Medallists have been under the age of 40. :wink:

    Ramanujan isn't a very fair example though, he didn't have much of a chance at old age.
  6. Apr 28, 2006 #5
    erdos was still pounding out papers when he died @ 83 (?) but he didn't have family or any admin responsibilities, as many grad students, post-docs & junior faculty are likely to not have. later on as a scientist/etc gets older & moves up the ranks i would think they would have more of that stuff to deal with. it may be that once someone gets their name out their there isn't as much drive as there used to be as well.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2006
  7. Apr 28, 2006 #6


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    Euler was sure pounding out until his 70s.
  8. Apr 28, 2006 #7
    Young men indeed. Certainly not women, god no, a woman doing mathematics? When would she have time to do cooking?

    It's chauvinism.

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2006
  9. Apr 28, 2006 #8
    Oh wait, this whole thread is about making insults to old people. Eh.
  10. Apr 28, 2006 #9
    oh, I apologize for this!
  11. Apr 29, 2006 #10
    maybe this thread should be changed to "Science, a game for Young people", unless you want to insinuate women are less capable than men when it comes to science.

    It does appear that most scientists bang out their best work when they're young, but that could be down to a ton of factors that aren't because they're 'old' (e.g. family responsibilities)
  12. Apr 30, 2006 #11
    i'm pretty sure he somehow had ~20 kids too.
  13. Apr 30, 2006 #12
    so, shall we speed up to get a phD before we reach 26?

    Or just "step-by-step"?
  14. Apr 30, 2006 #13
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