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The most misleading stereotypes about physics

  1. May 31, 2006 #1
    How does the general public most misconstrue the personalities, theories, observations, achievements and goals of physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2006 #2
    You're too optimistic. The general public isn't aware of the personalities, theories, observations, achievements, or goals of physics. We'd be lucky to even have a stereotype for our field...
  4. May 31, 2006 #3


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    *cough* What the BLEEP?! *cough*

    I'd call that a serious misrepresentation of quantum physics, and it's not the first time quantum's been used for spiritual purposes. "Quantum physics proves (insert new age crap) works!"
  5. May 31, 2006 #4
    Insignificant fringe crackpots.
  6. May 31, 2006 #5


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    Evolution is "just a theory"

    Edit: Not physics but still...

    I guess it could work for the big bang as well.
  7. May 31, 2006 #6
    I think one of them is the scientific method. That every scientist uses scientific method to test out his idea and do the experiment. Another one is that there is no gravity in space <- this one I heard personally from my history teacher.
  8. May 31, 2006 #7
    Skinny or fat out-of-shape geeks with no social skills or life. I'm not even close to being a physicist yet, but damnit when I am, I'll also be a natural pro bodybuilder with social skills and a life.
  9. May 31, 2006 #8
    Biologists are orders of magnitude better-known than physicsts. Marine biologists are portrayed by movie actors. So are zoologists. And that gorilla lady. In contrast, the general public isn't really sure what 'physics' is, or perhaps never heard of it. The best we can do is call ourselves "scientists" and leech off of the popularity of others.
  10. May 31, 2006 #9
    Scientific method? You mean there's a method behind the 'mad scientist' persona? Again, far too optimistic.
  11. May 31, 2006 #10
    via Cosmic Variance:
  12. May 31, 2006 #11
    Actually, to a large degree this is true.
  13. May 31, 2006 #12


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    A friend of mine went to this SPS conference this semeseter and he said it was just geeks geeks geeks.... and then our university half drunk.
  14. May 31, 2006 #13


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    Oh i got one

    They all wear white coats
  15. May 31, 2006 #14
    Reveal me your astonishing way of life, oh master :rolleyes:

    Yepp, every REAL scientists must use a secret method when conducting his experiment. I'd rather say scientific method taught in h-schools is depressing than optimistic :biggrin:
  16. May 31, 2006 #15
    This is speculation on your part. Point me a single movie reference in which scientists are portrayed as rational, methodical empiricists.
  17. May 31, 2006 #16
    Again, that's a scientist stereotype, not a physicist stereotype. Chemists do were white lab coats, universally. Physicsts never do. Not even experimentalists.

    I'll point this out again - Biologists are extremely popular (by our standards). Chemists have their existance acknowledged. Physicsts are just plain obscure.
  18. May 31, 2006 #17


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    Shut up, it works
  19. May 31, 2006 #18
    here's a single one you've asked for: The Scientific Method DVD (2004)
    (please don't ask for any more references :tongue2: )
  20. May 31, 2006 #19
    Current science stories in Reuters. Zero physicsts!

    New Orleans sinking - geophysics, soil scientists
    Indonesian skulls - anthropology, evolution, archaeology
    Space shuttle launch - politicans (and some oppressed engineers...)
    Prehistoric cave ecosystem - biologists, marine biology
    Mona Lisa - forensics
    Arctic sediment core - geologists
    Wind turbines & birds - biologists

    As the evidence shows, soil scientists are sexy. Physicists aren't.
  21. May 31, 2006 #20
    Educational material. Pathetic attempt. That's as much a cultural reference as "Goldstein's Classical Mechanics".
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