Physics is a profession that attracts nerds, so I’ve been able to observe the phenomenon. There are indeed people who wear T-shirts with Maxwell’s equations and make up jokes about magnetic monopoles. They’re always undergraduates. No graduate student does this. No postdoc does this. No professor does this. I suppose part of it might just be age: the teenage years seem to be the ones where people feel the need to “express themselves” by advertising their enthusiasms. Mostly I think it’s a matter of socialized identity formation. In high school, if you’re the only one who’s interested in particle physics or computer programming, it tends to become a core part of your image of yourself. Starting in the upper undergraduate level, you will be surrounded by fellow majors and faculty, so being interested in quantum mechanics is not longer an identifying feature for you. Thus, a room full of nerds very quickly become ordinary people who happen to study physics. At the same time, people start getting married, having kids, and otherwise picking up identity-forming features.
- Even in their nerd phases, they don’t seem socially awkward around each other.
- Physics doesn’t have many girls, but their average attractiveness is a bit above the general population’s. And they’ll catch your Star Trek references.
Filed under: Uncategorized |