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Where do I go from my imagination?

  1. Sep 7, 2010 #1
    Hi guys, this is my first ever post on here, I'm a complete n00by, but anyway, heres my problem.

    I'm 20 years old, I live in the UK, and things like Physics aren't really taught in our schools at all, so its very hard to even think about taking it up as a career. I'm a chef by profession. I absolutely love science, but I'm not too keen on maths, I also love to work with computers and to solve problems, but here is MY problem that I can't seem to solve. Lately, in the past year or so, I have taken such a massive interest in physics, (quantum physics especially!- Parallel Universes, etc), I have always been hugely interested in space, and the wonders it brings with it. I really want to get into physics, and spend the rest of my life burried in a little lab working out such things like "what on earth is dark matter?! and and does string theory really tie everything with everything?!" but at the moment, I can't seem to get my interest past my immagination, nobody in my family has particular interest in these things, and when I try and talk to people about science and physics, they all just switch off! I understand you must have certain degress and qualifications, but I just really need help with where I go from here?!, who do I talk too about these things, and am I really smart enough to delve into physics, or am I just going to be a hobbyist who loves space?

    cheers guys and gals!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2010 #2
    I'm 21, from the UK, and they were teaching physics when I was at school! I assume you mean they don't teach it well, which was certainly my experience...

    What level of qualifications do you possess? GCSE, AS, A2, higher than those?
    This will have a massive bearing upon what you do next. Depending upon where you want to be, you might need BSc level, MSc level or PhD level education to work in physics.

    I will point out that physics involves a huge amount of maths (especially something like string theory! that's full of pure maths), that it takes years of education before you get to work on research, and the impression I have got from this forum is that theoretical physics is one of the most competitive subjects to try and go into research, and there are many many more applicants than positions.

    But I'm sure the good people of PF will correct me if I am wrong.

    The good news is that physics is a hugely broad subject, and with the right education, you'd probably find a job somewhere.

  4. Sep 8, 2010 #3
    I have gcses in maths English science resistant materials music and ict, all are c levels. To be honest I would love to get into maths, but in school the teachers spent too much time telling students off and not enough time teaching. I understand that physics is a big big field, and I'm still unsure exactly where I want to go, but I do most definatly want to delve into it. I'm just extremely confussed as to where to go. Cheers people.
  5. Sep 8, 2010 #4


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    Sounds like you may have to make up for some deficiencies in math before you can really start physics classes. Have you considered the Open University?

  6. Sep 9, 2010 #5
    You have to get keen on Maths!

    Why not take A levels in physics and maths at your local technical college? What qualifications do you have in cookery? Check if they are A level equivalent, or if you can boost them to A level equivalent. That should get you three A levels, and then you can apply to do a degree at University.

    Also don't expect to get a job being paid to think about nothing but "what on earth is dark matter?!" and "does string theory really tie everything with everything?!" Would you expect an average school football player to be able to get into the premier league however interested he was or however hard he tried? Becoming a paid professional in the string theory club is as hard a job to get as playing premier league football. Think Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose. Could you really be up to their standard? Maybe. But probably not. No reason not to do a physics degree, of course. A pub footballer might hire a coach, why not. There' s no reason not to indulge your interest, but have a fall back position for when Inter Milan don't come calling...
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