Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Beginner's Guide To Winning The Nobel In Physics

So we're sitting around, going from page to page, in that desultory late night fashion, wondering whether one ought to spend a couple of hours in coming up with a theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic that is both consistent and complete. Yes, yes, we're aware that those two blokes thought they'd cracked it, but actually hadn't . Hardly the sort of thing that would dissuade us, eh?

In any case, in the midst of these travels, we discovered Wolfgang Beirl, who had a link to The Statistical Mechanic, who in turn points to whole bunch of interesting physics blogs. Further, TSM leads us unto Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel Prize winning dude who has some very very useful suggestions on how one goes about becoming a physicist.
It so often happens that I receive mail - well-intended but totally useless - by amateur physicists who believe to have solved the world. They believe this, only because they understand totally nothing about the real way problems are solved in Modern Physics. If you really want to contribute to our theoretical understanding of physical laws - and it is an exciting experience if you succeed! - there are many things you need to know. First of all, be serious about it. All necessary science courses are taught at Universities, so, naturally, the first thing you should do is have yourself admitted at a University and absorb everything you can. But what if you are still young, at School, and before being admitted at a University, you have to endure the childish anecdotes that they call science there? What if you are older, and you are not at all looking forward to join those noisy crowds of young students?
The good professor goes on to list the different things you need to master to be good at physics. Languages, for example.
English is a prerequisite. If you haven't mastered it yet, learn it. You must be able to read, write, speak and understand English, but you don't have to be perfect here. The lousy English used in this text is mine. That's enough. All publications are in English. Note the importance of being able to write in English. Sooner or later you will wish to publish your results. People must be able to read and understand your stuff.
The man is very funny, we're thinking. He goes on to list other subjects: primary mathematics, classical mathematics, optics, statistical mechanics, electronics, quantum mechanics and so on. Read it all yourself. And remember, if you ever get that telegram from Stockholm, your journey started at the choultry.

2 comments:

kbpm said...

"Problem then is, there is so much junk on the internet"

you know i am infinitely stuck in a medieval airport enroute to Stockholm cause i spend my time reading absolute drivel downloaded from said internet. no, no, not at the choultry (prickly aren't we?), i mean at work.

fhtlfrjg: Thats how cold the tall blonde lass was to the medal-wannabe.

Ludwig said...

[kbpm]
> no, no, not at the choultry

the lady doth protest too much.