arts school applicant,
I assure you that I have studied physics history or culture. And no offense, I am forced to claim a better knowledge of it than you. You might have more dates or more facts or more persons memorized, but without knowing the actual physics of it you have no choice but to subscribe to romanticized, populist notions of what physics is all about. It's like claiming you can understand hacker culture without having done some hacking or at least having extensive exposure (btw, I have NOT done this and I do not claim to, this is just an example). No offense, but 8 months of physics is peanuts.
Your not so subtle example of Einstein is a perfect example. Everyone loves repeating how Einstein got poor marks in high school, didn't speak until late, etc. It was known that Einstein was very bright, even in high school. Einstein was already playing around with world class ideas (although he did not yet have the training to do something rigorous with it) even then. Yes, he was working as a patent clerk, but he already had his physics PhD. On top of all this, Einstein did something in physics which may never be duplicated ever again in the sense that he was by far the greatest physicist since Newton, incomparably so. Einstein who received just one Nobel Prize, probably deserved 3-5.
As for the other two examples, I'm not sure who you're referring to. Is the second Benjamin Franklin? I mean really, you have to give better hints.
I think you're completely missing the point. The point is that the people who have made major contributions in physics, were all incredibly bright and creative. And most of this is in the past when many less people were studying physics then now. Right now physics sucks up many of the brightest and most creative people from around the country. Even believing you're bright enough to do detail work is quite a statement, believing you can really change stuff requires tremendous self confidence. Your sentence about the "bliss-filled" life is pretty funny too. You don't understand: this is about finding a job that makes you happy. Most people however associate accomplishment and achievement with happiness. It's important to people to feel like they've done something. I don't want to lie on my deathbed thinking that I published a handful of meaningless articles, and this is what I did every day.
I could safely ignore you regardless of how many problems you got right on the GRE's. That has nothing to do with it. But getting that on the physics GRE proves that either: a) You haven't taken the relevant physics courses, b) You didn't learn anything in the relevant physics courses, c) Your analytic thinking skills are mediocre, or d) there were some exceptional circumstances. If a) is true, well you should think about another year of physics before you jump off to study physics in grad school because you don't know anything about it. if b) or c) are true, you clearly have some problems in going to grad school anyhow. If d) is true, well then that was probably worth mentioning.
I'm not surprised you only started studying physics 8 months ago. You're much better at sarcastic, pseudo-intellectual writing style then you are at logical discourse. Hopefully for you, that will change. There's really no need to magnify you're accomplishments (whatever they might be) in such a ridiculous fashion. Really, we're all intelligent here. We understand. If you claim to bear me no ill will, don't speak to me in a ridiculous, condescending fashion.
I will add for my part that I was primarily talking about theory. Experiment requires many more man hours and (frankly) less brains, so it makes sense to have more people doing it. Just to clarify.
What's ridiculous about your "accomplishment" though, is that you don't understand that very likely at most 5 people will read your paper. I used to think as well, that no matter what I do, as long as I publish it I'm contributing to human knowledge, right? Then I started to find out that typically, nobody reads each others journal articles. I mean, "nobody" sounds ridiculous, people are still reading 5 or so papers for each one they write. But imagine if literature was like that. Each person wrote a book for each 5 they read. There would be a lot of worthless crap out there. 5:1, as a ratio of read to written is not a lot. Physics is drowning itself in a flood on publications, because all these profs need to keep making publications to keep tenure and all these magazines need to keep publishing something to justify their existence. And since the people who pay for it are completely clueless in any case (government, the public) the system works out great.
I really do think you missed the point of everything I wrote. Having a score of 900 doesn't prove anything. The physics GRE (sadly) cannot prove anything positive about someone, only something negative. Maybe your problem is that you've never been made to feel stupid first hand. Have you ever talked with someone that was always 5 steps ahead of you solving every problem, asking questions, figuring out angles, making realizations, etc etc. Maybe you haven't because you're from a small school. I've encountered people like that at UoT, and it made me realized that if you sum up all the schools in the world and take all those people, there's a shitload of people going into physics that are just plain much better than I am. It has nothing to do with contrived tests. It has to do with being second-rate in a field where being second-rate sucks. I don't mind sacrificing the Hummer to really push the frontiers of human knowledge, but sacrificing the Hummer to watch other people do it?
If you just really love physics so much and you can't see yourself doing anything else, then by all means go for it. Clearly you have some justification for your lousy physics GRE score, although I'm still not sure what it is. Fortunately you're in a field where you can get a salary for accomplishing something that almost nobody even in your community regards as being of significant value. So that should help you out.
If you really can't see where I'm coming from still, I suggest you try and see if you have any friends who were the stars of their high school, or even varsity teams and ask them if they were trying to go pro. A lot of them (the smart ones) don't ever bother really trying. You know why? Because they know that in all likelihood they're not good enough, and they don't want to screw everything up on that chance. Physics is the same way. Yeah, you never know "for sure" what you have to contribute until you try. But you have a pretty good idea. And you only have one life to gamble with.
(PS if you don't think the consequences of going into physics and not "making the cut" can be severe, then i suggest you read on what a lot of physics PhD's end up doing after their degree... scary stuff like teaching at community college or high school, i.e. unable to do research or do something you can enjoy, and never making it as tenured profs).
PPS If you started studying any form of math, physics, and science 8 months ago... then you know nothing. Don't take it the wrong way, but you know nothing. Seriously, what do people study in their first 8 months? First year calculus, Newton's Laws? Almost everyone here has been doing this for 3-4 years, they've all spent summers in research, they've all been immersed in this for quite a long time. You're quite clueless.
PPPS And your article has been accepted for publication, where, exactly?