23 year old Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski is a well-known physicist currently working on her Ph.D. at Harvard and may just be the next Einstein. Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski has already accomplished so much at a young age (Photo from Girls In Tech Chile)
Einstein is known as the smartest person to have ever lived. His theories and scientific findings are still turned to in research and critical thinking. And while others have come close to his greatness, we haven’t really found someone worthy of being known as the next Einstein. Now, Harvard thinks they’ve found her. Harvard University believes 23-year-old Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski is the world’s next Einstein.
For someone her age, she has accomplished a lot. The Chicago native is one of the most well-known and accomplished physicists in the United States. She graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in only three years with a 5.0 GPA and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard. The world first took notice of Pasterski when she single-handedly built her own single-engine airplane in 2008 at 14. The entire process was documented on Youtube.
She topped this feat at 16 when she flew the aircraft herself over Lake Michigan, earning the title of the youngest person to ever fly their own plane. Though it sounds strange for someone so young to be piloting a plane, Pasterski has years worth of experience. She first flew a plane at age 9. And while most of us spend our free time catching up on social media or sitting in front of the TV, she explores concepts of quantum gravity, blackholes, and spacetime, which is the mathematical model combining space and time into a single continuum. And you thought Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper was a genius.
Her research and work have been well published. Most of her papers are found on her website, PhysicsGirl.com, including such riveting titles like “Semiclassical Virasoro Symmetry of the Quantum Gravity S-Matrix.”
As you can imagine, Pasterski has been getting top job offers from Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin and NASA. But for now, the young physicist seems interested in earning her Ph.D. and running her own interdisciplinary laboratory.
There’s no doubt about it; Pasterski is a standout student, but she’s part of a larger trend of millennials and women graduating with degrees in physics. According to the American Institute of Physics, 8,081 bachelor’s degrees in physics were awarded in 2015. That’s the highest number ever recorded. It seems more and more people are interested in the field of science, which bodes well for our future. To think, most people give millennials a bad name.
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