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Student Finds Universe's Missing Mass

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  • Re:age (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hackertourist (2202674) <hackertourist@xR ... .nl minus distro> on Friday May 27, 2011 @12:02PM (#36263958)

    Perhaps more surprising is the prof's willingness to share credit for the discovery with his student.

  • Re:age (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Friday May 27, 2011 @12:37PM (#36264410) Homepage

    Why is it that the younger the person who does something, the more special people think it is? I call it the "America's Got Talent" effect.

    At least in science it seems the body of human knowledge continues to expand. Like many of the math theorems that requires years of field theory and calculus to even understand WTF the theorem is about. Try for example reading the proof of Fermat's last theorem without developing a brain aneurysm. It's like they talk Greek and Latin and ancient Hebrew and something you could swear is alien.

    That young people still discover things is proof there's still low hanging fruit or that exceptional talent matters more than a PhD and 20 years of working with the subject matter. Of course there's many cookie cutter professors too but usually there are some that are exceptional talents and PhDs and have worked on it 20 years who has picked clean any reasonably accessible discovery.

    Same with for example physics, unless you're at the Tevatron or CERN it's unlikely you'll find any new elementary particles, add any new entries to the periodic table, build carbon nanotubes, high-temperature superconductors or anything else that will make a huge impact, compared to the relatively simple lab equipment 100 years ago. That's why the young ones are news, because they're the exceptions.

  • Re:age (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Friday May 27, 2011 @01:33PM (#36265110)

    That young people still discover things is proof there's still low hanging fruit or that exceptional talent matters more than a PhD and 20 years of working with the subject matter. Of course there's many cookie cutter professors too but usually there are some that are exceptional talents and PhDs and have worked on it 20 years who has picked clean any reasonably accessible discovery.

    What I think it means is that when you've been working on something so long you tend to lose focus on something obvious. It takes a fresh pair of eyes without a vested interest to make the connection.

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