Girls, maths and physical sciences

Sabine Dippel sabine at
Mon Apr 1 03:07:48 EST 1996

Okay, so here's one of those "lurking physicists", but I don't think I'll
"shoot". Sarah, can you imagine that I found physics and maths exciting in 
high school, but chemistry and biology bored me to death? I attribute this
mostly to my teachers, though partly it is also just the inclination to 
playing around with more abstract things that makes me like maths and physics.

Later, in University, I had to take a chemistry lab course and also an 
exam in chemistry - and I suddenly found out I liked it, too. I just did not
like the way it was taught in high school. I think I was one of very few 
people of those who had to take this lab course and thought it was fun - 
much more fun than physics lab. 

But I still found and find beauty in physical theories and maths, I have 
become a theoretical physicist and have a lot of fun doing what I do.

As to biology, I only was reconciled with it some time later, after joining
the institution I'm in now. There are some people here doing biological physics,
and I find that very interesting, too. But still, I would not want to trade 
physics in for chemistry or biology - it still is my favourite. Maybe some
time later I'll write a little about why I think so few girls take maths or 
physics or even chemistry - I first have to catch up on my work on returning 
from vacation.


| Sabine Dippel     | e-mail: s.dippel at                | 
| HLRZ              | phone : [++49] (2461) 61-2318                  | 
| KFA Juelich       | fax   : [++49] (2461) 61-2430                  | 
| 52425 Juelich     | WWW   : | 
| Germany           |                                                | 

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