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What is your motivation for doing physics?

  1. It is interesting.

    21 vote(s)
  2. It will save humanity.

    4 vote(s)
  3. Because I would not do anything else with my life

    5 vote(s)
  4. Other reasons related to personal beliefs and/or religion

    2 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Dec 3, 2008 #1
    After having been rejected from all ten of the astronomy grad schools to which I applied and even a few years before my undergrad graduation in physics and astronomy, I have gradually become disinterested in pursuing a career in science. I started out very sure I would end up as a professional physicist with a PhD. Currently, I study optical physics in an engineering grad school, but physics nor engineering simply do not excite me anymore. Have any of you had a similar experience? Was it just burnout from undergrad?

    My question is: What is your motivation for doing physics? Mine used to be "the utilitarian 'because physics, the noblest of the physical sciences, can help people'" or "because physics is interesting," but now I do not believe physics is humanity's savior, although it is the noblest physical science, and, as a result, physics has become less interesting to me. Classes have become just memorizing and regurgitating, and research is drudgery.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2008 #2


    User Avatar

    I do it for the ladies.
  4. Dec 3, 2008 #3
    I'm not a physicist, I'm in a professional life science program. I take physics to understand quantum theory eventually, because a simply "atoms like to obey the octet rule" doesn't do it for me. And because everything I do rests on chemistry, I'd better be sure what I'm learning really works.
  5. Dec 3, 2008 #4

    I originally just wanted to be a well-rounded applied scientist.

    But as I got deeper into the physics program, and went through several internships I discovered many interesting and practical areas of condensed matter physics, including biophotonics applications and micro machining.

    I'm also learning about how useful physics can be - taking a situation you know little to nothing about, and applying a few physical principles that lead you to make open-minded shots at a solution to a problem. It's also cool just to know what makes things tick.

    So it started as physics with a vague purpose and ended up as physics with a handful of specific purposes in addition to a new appreciation for the field.
  6. Dec 4, 2008 #5
    What else would I do?
  7. Dec 4, 2008 #6
    :rofl: I chose it to intimidate guys!
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