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What do you physcists do?

  1. Sep 25, 2007 #1
    What do highly theoretical physcists (fundalmental physics like beyond the standard model) do all day? Mostly maths? On the computer?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2007 #2
    :rofl:
     
  4. Sep 25, 2007 #3
    As opposed to midly theoretical which mix experiment with theory like some more modest optical experiments then CERN experiments. I just like to know what theoretical physicists do, that's all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  5. Sep 25, 2007 #4

    JasonRox

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    Oh boy.
     
  6. Sep 25, 2007 #5
    What is wrong?

    I actually have no idea and it's a serious question.
     
  7. Sep 25, 2007 #6
    hasnt this question been asked alot before?
     
  8. Sep 25, 2007 #7
    most theorists are phenomenologists, meaning they seek to explain phenomena using some theory. what does this really mean? computing values for certain things, like mass of (blank) , energy of (blank), etc. using the formulae of a theory. Obviously this isn't as easy as it sounds.

    very very few theorists are model builders, theory inventers. what do they do? i have no clue. probably sit around and think a lot.
     
  9. Sep 25, 2007 #8

    JasonRox

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    Einstein was a theorist and was a ladies man.
    Feynmann was a theorist and was a ladies man.

    So, I guess theorists are good with the ladies.
     
  10. Sep 25, 2007 #9
    einstein boinked his cousin, i don't know how cavalier that is.
     
  11. Sep 25, 2007 #10

    G01

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    :rolleyes:
     
  12. Sep 25, 2007 #11
    Jason's sole concern is the "ladies". i bet he started doing mathematics simply to impress the "ladies" much like how many guys learn guitar for similar reasons.
     
  13. Sep 25, 2007 #12

    G01

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    Exactly. Women love guys who can do proofs. Do you know what happens if you start proving something by mathematical induction out in public on the street? Ever see an Ax Body Spray commercial? The whole process of mathematical induction attracts one girl. Then, once the rest saw that the proof was attractive to her, another starts running toward you, then another, then another,..., then N-1 women are chasing you, eventually you have N women chasing you! I don't know how any male mathematician keeps the ladies off of him...


    We should probably get back on topic, here.:rolleyes:
     
  14. Sep 25, 2007 #13
    I once read that Feynman's method of problem solving was to "stare at the problem, think really hard, then write down the answer" (probably misquoting slightly). I suspect rather a lot of chalk and computer cycles are sacrificed to the cauldron in there somewhere, but hey.

    We need more cool phenomena that don't make sense yet. Can't think of many right off, besides the whole GR/QM convergence issue. Okay, make that *tractable* phenomena - good luck explaining consciousness in satisfying terms. But I can't think of a modern equivalent of the photoelectric effect. There's a lot of work in applications, and a lot of work in trying to apply things we understand when conditions are simple to problems where conditions are anything but.
     
  15. Sep 25, 2007 #14
    Because in four dimensions, this simplifies to the case where N = 0. First one woman is running away, then nothing.
     
  16. Sep 25, 2007 #15
    feynman's method of how to be a genius: having 10-12 of your favorite problems always kicking around in your head. when you meet someone who has a nifty problem solving method try to apply it to one of your problems. if it works people call you a genius.
     
  17. Sep 25, 2007 #16

    G01

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    :biggrin:
     
  18. Sep 25, 2007 #17
    I have been lurking on this forum for quite awhile, and one thing I notice, is that when talking about theorists everyone seems to ignore the fact that there are many many people working in condensed matter theory as well. (Not to mention perhaps smaller fields such as plasma physics theory). Why is this?
     
  19. Sep 25, 2007 #18
    i don't understand the implication? the condensed matter theorist i worked for this summer was still a phenomenologist. the paper he wrote this summer was second order calculations of feynman diagrams for something something.
     
  20. Sep 26, 2007 #19
    What do you mean by phenomenologist?
     
  21. Sep 26, 2007 #20
    When you said phenomenology, I assumed you meant theoretical particle physics, as the term is usually used in conjunction with this area. It seems you mean 'the study of phenomena' or..?
     
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