Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am a first year physics student, but I am 20 years old (pretty old for my country, average starting age is 18), because I started after leaving med school, which I find extremely jailed in "memorization walls", with no place for analytical problem solving, something that I have loved all my life. I started to love physics because I was introduced to neuroscience, which lead me to information theory, probability analisis, mathematics and physics. I decided to study physics not only because I practically become obsessed with any problem I encourage, but also because I find physics to be the only "real" foundation of the understanting of nature, thanks to its mathematical basis. Well, now the problem is that I constantly see that most physicists that discover great things all started very very young, which is not my case. So, besides I am really good at math (the first of my class), I am sometimes dissapointed about the fact that I am maybe too old to make a difference, and this sometimes brings me back to think if I made the right decision when I left med school.

The thread here is about sharing information about cases of physicists that did great discoveries without being extremely precocious or "geniuses" since they were kids. Also your opinion about this kind of situation would be of real help.

What do you think of this and my decision?

share|cite|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Chris White, Qmechanic Mar 2 '14 at 23:35

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Physics knows no age, race, gender, ethnicity, color, height, weight, etc. Any body could make a difference. Don't give up! – jerk_dadt Mar 2 '14 at 23:29
Possible duplicates: and links therein. – Qmechanic Mar 2 '14 at 23:35
You find physics to be the only real foundation of nature. Keep in mind that the basics of physics, the things you learn in the first courses, are about the foundations. The farther you pursue physics, the more you will explore the complexities of some specialized area. If you choose a career in industry, you might find it much like engineering. Your work might focus on problems with practical importance. This can still be interesting and rewarding. It should have more analytical problem solving than being a medical doctor with a practice. But so would math, engineering, or programming. – mmesser314 Mar 3 '14 at 0:31

Physics holds no prejudices.

Aside from knowledge an important trait to be a great scientist is having insight, that can come at anytime to anyone in any place. Keep questioning things, you never know the next thing you question could be worth a Nobel prize.

share|cite|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.