Hi, So what exactly does somebody who is involved in "theoretical physics" do at their job? This is not the same thing as somebody who is involved in experimental physics, right? If I understand right, theoretical physics is the stuff we learn in class. It's the theory to explain the phenomena, rather than the actual process of detecting the phenomena. Of course, you take lab classes to get experience in the experimental part of physics as well. I understand (somewhat) what somebody who is doing work in experimental physics does; they pick some very specific mysterious topic and try to collect data to learn more about it. So then does that mean that someone doing work in theoretical physics would then look at that data and try to develop a theory to explain the results? Does he get paid a salary, or hourly? What does he do at work? I can only imagine him sitting there staring at a blank piece of paper until he thinks of some awesome theory. (Yes I know that women can be theoretical physicists too :) ). What if he doesn't come up with any good theories? Personally, I like studying theory. I wish that I could just keep studying theory continuously. And eventually I would like to be able to contribute somehow by coming up with theory of my own and publishing it. But what path do I need to take to follow these dreams? All I see right now is opportunities to work in a lab and collect data and stuff, but that's not what I'm passionate about. Maybe I'm underplaying the whole experimental route, I don't have any experience of my own so my opinion could turn out to be kind of ignorant. I appreciate any insight you can give me.