Max Planck, the father of quantum physics, once said:
New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.
Like Planck I believe that physics students should pursue individualism and independent thought, since those traits promote qualities needed for original research, such as a natural curiosity, reasonable doubt, a passion for understanding nature, and most importantly, an imaginative and creative mind.
However, advisers and mentors have stressed that collaboration is valuable for research, and is the better method to becoming a good scientist. I also have often heard that collaboration promotes professional connections and develops job opportunities, both of which are important for young scientists. So, should individualism or collectivism be encouraged in physics students? (Read More)
About the Author:
Ricardo Heras recently finished high school in Mexico. He is currently enrolled at University College London, where he pursues an undergraduate degree in astrophysics. As a single author, he has published two papers, "Birth accelerations of neutron stars" and "Pulsars are born as magnetars," and two e-prints, "The magnetar origin of pulsars" and "Initial accelerations of pulsars caused by external kicks." In his free time he likes to compose classical music.