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Why bother becoming a physicist?

  1. Aug 13, 2007 #1
    I'm thinking about it, but why bother? We will never understand the universe at a basic level. It's futile. The universe is too vast and too complicated for us to ever understand.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2007 #2


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    to have more fun. and meet beautiful girls.
  4. Aug 13, 2007 #3


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    Who do you think invented the transistor that has become the foundation of modern electronics? When you or your family get an MRI, who do you think came out with the physics that allowed for such application? How did you think we understand the behavior of semiconductors and magnetic materials so that you can post such a comment online via your computer?

    If you think that all of physics is nothing more than some esoteric knowledge that has no bearing on your way of life and all the conveniences that you've enjoyed, you'd better look again.

  5. Aug 13, 2007 #4

    Well im sure people all have different reasons but here are a few of the top of my head about why I think im going to start an undergraduate physics corse at university which I thought of while posing exactly the same question as you as to whether I should do physics or economics.

    1/ Your ego - you may only be able to understand very little of the universe but it will still be greatly more than virtually anyone you know! The idea of a certain superiority is a good one lol.

    2/ The possiblilty of taking that basic knoledge and taking it just a little bit further - most people want to be sucessful in what they do and why shouldnt you be just the same? With phyics you do stand the possibility of changing the world forever!

    3/ The possibilities of what you can do afterwards. A physics degree will let you do so much stuff, im unlikely to ever use my physics degree once/if i get it as im simply not good or motivated enough to take it further. However with a degree in physics you can get jobs in virutally anything including finance which will pay big money.

    So yer why should you study physics? after all that rubbish above i really dont know - why study anything? why is any academic subject worthy of study? they all have floors and they are all changing - its just silly itsn it? just do it if ur good and interested.
  6. Aug 13, 2007 #5
    I never knew that the whole point of physics is to understand the universe. Physics is there just to make our lives easier. Ultimately at the end, physics is there to satisfy our material needs, not understand the universe. Very simple to understand the human nature.

    More than half the world population don't really care about science unless it benefits or helps them directly. And sadly this is true among the majority of the Americans. It's the typical: "Why do we keep funding NASA and space missions? It doesn't help me in anyway and I want my tax dollars to benefit me and what is happening now."
  7. Aug 13, 2007 #6


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    Improved academic (mathematical) skills;
    improved critical thinking skills;
    understanding of (some) technologies;
    more exact understanding of scientific processes in other areas which physics study can specifically improve (for example, some kinds of spectroscopy) - important because often other kinds of courses for other sciences may not adequately clarify these processes.

    So, even if you may not understand enough of the universe by studying to become a physicist, physics is good for you.
  8. Aug 13, 2007 #7
    We probably will never know about everything that is out there. If you look at it that way then you are right – there is no point. However, I think it’s not so much about knowing everything that is out there but trying to get to that point or close to it. As you try to get there, you’ll end up finding so much more than you knew before you started.
    We all are going to do die someday. But if we can postpone that day through knowledge, I think it’s worth trying right. This is not just restricted to physics but anything that requires us to “learn something”.
  9. Aug 13, 2007 #8
    I've gotta show this quote to my wife and father-in-law... they'll get a huge kick out of it!
  10. Aug 13, 2007 #9
    Actually, I know everything. PM me for any questions regarding the universe.
  11. Aug 13, 2007 #10


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    Well said! I would also like to point out that the modern transportation industry wouldn't exist without the necessary understanding the physics behind internal combustion engines. Along the same note, you can't build an airplane that flies without doing the necessary calculations using Bernoulli's principle. Physics is not only about inapplicable and uninterpretable mathematical theories. Physicists have made and will continue to make major contributions to society in many different ways.
  12. Aug 13, 2007 #11


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    I don't know - I only did it to meet girls as well.
  13. Aug 13, 2007 #12
    Oh.... None of the physics classes I took had any girls. Maybe upper level classes had all the girls. Should have taken the upper level classes. Darn!
  14. Aug 13, 2007 #13
    Let me answer that question with another of my own: "Why not?"

    Do you REALLY have anything better to do with your life, however short it may be? I mean, REALLY!?!?!?! I see nothing better to do with MY life. It's better than being bored to death at some office job that you answer the phone all day or file papers all day.
  15. Aug 14, 2007 #14


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    physics and maths have no purpose besides intellectual curiosity.
    how and in what way you apply them is a different thing altogether.
  16. Aug 14, 2007 #15
    Hey, I'll do you one better. How about if THE PROFESSOR was a girl, and a hot one at that? Google "professor Lisa Randall" and see what I mean :)
  17. Aug 14, 2007 #16


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    No it's just mathematics, in real life girls are complex, in physics they are simply imaginary.
  18. Aug 14, 2007 #17
    mgb_phys, that made my day. hahaha.
  19. Aug 14, 2007 #18


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    i guess if you are desperate everything goes... (-:
  20. Aug 14, 2007 #19
    on the other hand physicists get groupies
  21. Aug 14, 2007 #20
    Why bother becoming anything? You will never be the best and you will never understand everything about what you do. So your argument does not hold.
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