Do you think it is possible to earn a PHD degree in Theoretical Physics on your own? I have a M. Sc. in Applied Computer Science but I really want to go in the direction of Physics. Is there a way one could perform a significant work in this field without a team of other PHD-students and/or lab experiments? Is it even officially possible to acquire the PHD degree in Physics if one has B. Sc. in Applied Mathematics and Ms. Sc. in Applied CS only?
closed as off topic by David Zaslavsky♦ Nov 20 '11 at 22:43
Questions on Physics Stack Exchange are expected to relate to physics within the scope defined in the FAQ. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about closed questions here.
"Is it possible to earn a PHD degree in Theoretical Physics on your own?"
I am still waiting for my PhD for 'solving', the Double Slit Experiment.
But imagine my delight and satisfaction, when I saw Prof. Leonard Susskind, used a very similar diagram to mine, to explain the DSE in one of his own lectures.
The simplest and honest answer to your question, would have to be no, or very unlikely.
It's not getting a PhD, which is important, it is learning about something which you are interested in.
A lawyer friend of mine said it best.
"The reason competition in science, is so fierce, is because the rewards are so small."
This question does not belong here, but anyway.
The answer is no. You need an accredited institution in which you will be under the supervision of some adviser and a committee that has to approve you thesis eventually. This is the way degrees are granted, you cannot get a degree on your own independent of any institution. It is a process for making sure that real science is produced.
Would you go to seek medical help from a medical doctor who got a degree "on his own" (whatever that means) or would you go to one who got his degree from an accredited institution?