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Studying Should I quit studying physics?

  1. Jan 22, 2012 #1
    I started college majoring in electrical engineering. I realized that engineering was boring and lacked beauty, so I decided to change to the elegant study of physics. This is after I had taken AP physics in high school, so I knew it was something I liked a lot. I'm now halfway through my second year, double majoring in physics and math with a 3.96 GPA. I'm slowly finding the science more and more tedious and boring rather than beautiful. Last quarter was dedicated to waves and vibrations and fourier stuff, which I found to be awful. Now I'm being gently introduced to special relativity, which I thought was amazing when I first heard about it two years ago, but now its just alright. In my math class we're learning out of Artin's Algebra, which I sort of like. I originally wanted to be a theoretical physicist, I absolutely despise any lab scenario as well as programming. It's just been a long time since I've seen something that put me in awe the way calculus did the first time I saw it. Does theoretical physics become really cool again, or am I just losing interest? Also, is there anyway that I can do purely theoretical work given how little I know currently? I think maybe actually trying it out could help me decide.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I think you're overworked and not spending enough time to see the beauty in things.

    William Blake wrote a stanza for it:

    Auguries of Innocence
    William Blake
    To see a World in a Grain of Sand
    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour.

    And from zen:

    Before a man studies Zen, a mountain is a mountain
    after he gets insights, a mountain is not a mountain
    When he really understands, a mountain is a mountain"

    You may be stuck on the middle line and if you persevere the amazement will come back.
  4. Jan 23, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    err, theoretical physics is going to be hard nowadays without programming.
  5. Jan 23, 2012 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Also with a computer you can begin to see the depth and beauty of a system of eqns applied to a problem.

    Checkout the open source physics project at compadre.org/osp
  6. Jan 23, 2012 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That was my thought, too.
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