Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Would you rather be a theorist or an experimentalist?

Why it’s OK not to be Sean: There's an old chestnut that theorists are judged by their best paper and observers/experimentalists by their worst. (Via Cosmic Variance.)

Must be an old chestnut for physicists, I hadn't heard it before. I thought for a moment that playing theorist might get me a free lunch, but then I realized that my best paper would be compared with the best papers of all theorists. I think I'll continue to take my chances with the experimentalists...

1 comment:

steve said...

There is some truth in this - unless the experimentalist finds something completely unexpected (very rare).

In the 60s and 70s there was a journal that consisted of reprints of the worst physics papers of the past year. Really fun reading:-)