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Ted Mosby

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I want to become a Theoretical physicist, how can i become one? (Thank you for your time and kind consideration.

I am in grade 9, and in grade 8, i conducted the Dual-Slit experiment on Quantum Mechanics, which went pretty well, and for my grade 9 Personal Project, i am probably going to write a book, basically stressing on Anti matter and Anti universes... Well, i have an extremely developed aptitude for physics, and i can grasp almost any theory just by watching a small video on it, but i struggle to understand the maths, so i can actually say that i am not really 'understanding physics' i am just analyzing its implications on a much lower level... I understand that it is quite hard to become a renounced physicist, due to the density and complexity of the subject, but i believe that i can achieve it through persistence and determination... Overall, i want to say that i want to become a physicist, probably Astrophysicist or Quantum Physicist... I have a problem, 'How?!'
I am Indian, but i have been living in Indonesia for almost an year, what i realized is that IGCSE and IB DP is much more comprehensive and encouraging when i compared them to CBSE and ICSE, but that is not my point, it looks like i am going back to India as soon as i do 10th, which can prove fatal for my ambitions, so, i just wanted your guidance, i come from a middle class family, and i certainly cannot afford the cost of education at Stanford or MIT, even though i am fully capable of getting in... So, can someone enlighten me with his knowledge about admission in MIT or other such prestigious universities? I also had another request, if possible please do not hesitate to tell me if you can, that, "Will i be able to pursue a career in physics via indian education, which seems highly unlikely to me, but still, can i do IIT, and then studying specifically for Post Graduate with my own money?
If this is possible, and i do it, but then i suddenly realize that i do not posses the ability to understand and comprehend physics, and i complete my post graduate in pure physics, will i still get a job in engineering?

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    Jul 27 2012: Look, Einstein or Newton was not produced by any so called prestigious university....
    Satyendranath Bose was an indian so being an indian couldn't stop him to be someone what he became...

    One's passion makes one to be someone s/he wants to be irrespective of socio-economico-cultural background .....so go forward with your passion
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    Gail . 50+

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    Aug 27 2012: You need math. Check out Kahn Academy. It's free (web based). It is heavy on the math. If you can't get understanding, then ask Dr. Math - (a group of teachers that I found are too often quick to keep the students confused by not answering the question in english, but if they answer your question, they give you a link to write back so that you can ask them to restate in the language of english rather than math.

    You can keep pretty current about what's happening in quantum science, astrophysics, and something else that you should consider - the study of the mind or consciousness that developed as a result of the discoveries in quantum mechanics. AMAZING!!!!
  • Jul 27 2012: Just saying, most schools have pretty generous scholarships. If you do well on a standardized test, you could probably get your entire tuition paid for. Also, most of the Ivy league schools are need blind, so if you don't have the finances to pay for it, they claim they will pay for everything that your family cannot pay for. Im not sure how effective that is, but if you are incredibly smart, colleges will cover most of the expense.
  • Aug 26 2012: I am very impressed with your dedication to pursue your interest in physics. Although I am yet another high school student commenting on your question, you may find that great advice can come from peers your own age. As a senior, 12th Grade in the US system, and finishing up my International Baccalaureate diploma, I remember my own personal project: I explained parts of an airplane and how differences in air pressure make an airplane fly. Currently, I'm in crunch time looking into Colleges - Aerospace engineering for me. And many of the top schools that I have seen, in the US, also have theoretical physics as majors. For only in 9th grade, don't get worried on the cost of college; its surprising that most of the very expensive elite colleges have great scholarships and meet 100% of your demonstrated need. The California Institute of Technology does this (I just visited it and I love it!), and it means that if you get accepted there, and your family would only be able to pay X amount of money for your college, the university will take care of the rest. Understand that if your good enough to be in the top 98% of the world in physics, those colleges compete to be the best with the most geniuses - and the world needs you too.

    I see your problem with being unable to get the education like IB, but who said that the high school diploma is all the colleges look for. If you are forced out of that opportunity, than you should take it as a greater opportunity: more time for you to work on a project or online college classes to show the colleges that you are still equal to, or better, than those who did get the better education opportunities. Better still - it shows that you have that amazing self determination to overcome your own challenges to pursue your dream, and the fancy IB kids like me didn't get the chance to overcome anything.

    You are welcome to stay in contact with me via TED, and on facebook if you wish.
    • Aug 26 2012: Thank you for your answer, i am honestly very impressed by your articulate and precise answer. I have no doubt in my mind any more. I will try and find new ways to accomplish my goals. Thanks to you my friend :)
      I would love to add you as a friend on Facebook as i need people who can guide me :) Thank you.
  • Aug 26 2012: I think you're being pretty harsh on your country. I watched a video here a few months ago about an Indian guy who was one of the most innovative guys at MIT. He was firmly from India and intended for his designs to be of use to the people, not just big business. It was all to do with augmented reality or something. Very impressive. I can't say I know how rich he was, though.

    I do agree there is INSANE poverty in India, but also I reckon education can be had by anyone with a true, TRUE, interest in what they want to learn. We all have free time around whatever work or life we lead, and that free time can be filled with whatever interest we have. Be it cars, cricket or astrophysics.

    I used to hate the ridiculous division and inequality between rich and poor - actually I still do - but I've realised the rich ones are no better than the poor ones. People with money tend to waste it anyway. The whole 'if I had a million dollars I would...' question often comes up with stupid answers, like, 'I would go on the holiday of a lifetime'. I mean... I don't mean to sound too self-righteous but if I had that kind of money I would use it to educate myself as much as possible. Lifetime holidays, big houses, flash cars and other things are hugely trivial.

    Not having the money isn't stopping me from learning though. I'm just working towards it in whatever way I can. I figure that if I'm good enough at what I do, or if I go in the right direction, the opportunities will present themselves anyway, even if I have to spend more time 'waiting' for it to happen.

    Another way to see it is that in the world of money, it's all an act and anyone can make it if they bullshit their way through enough interviews and meetings. But the education world is way more knowledge based, so if you're clever you make it. There's no acting in that.

    So all I can say is... keep going! Never believe there is anything at all holding you back.

    Oh and have a look at www.coursera.org
  • Aug 6 2012: Hi there! I am Adam, a Taiwanese, study in the Sinarmas World Academy, an IB school. In Grade 10 I did my personal project on the topic of " How to find the distance of stars?" http://blogs.swa-jkt.com/swa/11156/2012/01/13/personal-project-product-my-science-paper-to-find-the-distance-to-stars/ (my blog) And I got good grades in science in class and same as you, I can't afford to study in the top schools. I have been wondering for the same question as you. For me, I think the answer is to find your interest first. If you want to be an engineer, then go for it. As for me, I am both interested in biology, chemistry, and physics. I will try to figure out which career I like. Keep in contact.
    • Aug 25 2012: I am very impressed by your work. :)
      I would love to talk to you online. If you want to, please add me on facebook so that we can have a friendly conversation. :)
      My account - http://www.facebook.com/akhauri.yash
      Thank you for your time :)
  • Jul 28 2012: I invite you to read and participate in the conversation "Matter in the universe is loosing their propierties?". It is a very specialized and up-to-date Theoretical physicist topic.

    I do not find any other expalnation for the questions Theoretical physicist have. Your comments or any idea will be welcome and this will be an oportunity to explore this field. Based on your background I can be your student on this field.
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    Jul 28 2012: IN MY VIEW:
    Resources will always limit us. Even the richest will be out of fund at times for certain projects but its the will to continue that matters. Maintain a strong will and some faith along with it and continue the hard work; anything and everything is achievable. Options will be visible in due course of time. Last thing you can do will be to engage into more groups. Try finding places where you can show your skill and might get recognition and options will get much closer.
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    Jul 27 2012: If you do not have the financial resources but do have the qualifications to get into these major universities, you will find excellent scholarships available.
    A career in theoretical physics will require a university degree including lots of math and physics.
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    Jul 27 2012: You should also check out Michio Kaku on Youtube, the guy's really cool!

    And I agree with Salim, you really need the passion for theoretical Physics. My parents and lot of my parents friends were highly interested in physics just like you. They thought physics was the coolest subject and best subject to study in. However, they eventually quit physics because it was getting nowhere.

    Well not to discourage you or anything, you just really need to consider what you REALLY want.
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    Jul 27 2012: All I can say is that you need to do your best in school so that you can go to a good university(Notre dame, Harvard, City University of New York ect.) where you can study physics. Then, see where life takes you from there. I wish you the best of luck :)