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?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Physics knows no age, race, gender, ethnicity, color, height, weight, etc. Any body could make a difference. Don't give up! $\endgroup$
    – jerk_dadt
    Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicates: physics.stackexchange.com/q/7327/2451 and links therein. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$
    – mmesser314
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 0:31

1 Answer 1


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.


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