You might not have heard of Sabrina Pasterski but you soon will; the 23 year-old brainiac has been labeled the next Einstein and she even has Jeff Bezos on speed dial.
When I look on the mainstream media webpages, I often feel extremely disappointed. The showbiz and celebrity sections are often the biggest and many newspapers, including the Washington Post, don’t even have science sections. The front pages are usually full of dour tales of terrorism and global catastrophes, or talentless celebrities doing anything for 5 minutes of fame and a couple of magazine front covers. Wouldn’t it be great if the media celebrated scientists and scientific achievements more?
In 2006 Sabrina Pasterski completed a remarkable achievement. Whilst other 13 year old girls were playing with dolls and makeup, Sabrina had just finished her first ambitious project; she built a working plane in her garage. This wasn’t an air-fix model or a store-bought gift; she literally found the pieces herself and built a fully working plane from scratch in under a year. When I was 13 I could barely put a Lego set together.
9 years later and Sabrina hasn’t slowed in her progress. She is considered to be amongst the brightest minds in the world and many are predicting huge things as she delves into the world of physics. She graduated from one of the most prestigious schools in the world with the highest possible score. She graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a perfect grade is now studying for her doctorate at Harvard. Once she graduates, she will be able to work at any institute or university in the world. Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Blue Origin has extended an interview for her to join him whenever she likes and NASA have also been headhunting her.
Pasterski is now looking towards the future and hoping that she can make a real difference in the world. She has now put her mind to physics and found herself perfectly able to question theories and make her own. She has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and many of the world’s leading scientists are wondering how much she can achieve in the field. Her next project, she says, will help humanity understand how the universe works. Following in the footsteps of other genius minds such as Steven Hawking and Albert Einstein, Pasterski is now studying gravity, space-time and special anomalies.
“Years of pushing the bounds of what I could achieve led me to physics. Physics itself is exciting enough. It’s not like a 9-to-5 thing. When you’re tired you sleep, and when you’re not, you do physics… A theorist saying he will figure out something in particular over a long time frame almost guarantees that he will not do it. I’d rather stay alert, and hopefully I’m known for what I do and not what I don’t do.”
Her infatuation with space and physics started at an early age and she has set her mind on sending humanity to Mars. This could lead her into a career working with either NASA or a private company that hopes to get there in the near future.
She certainly has a fascinating career ahead of her and those around her say that she is unstoppable and incredibly focused. She may only be 23 years of age, but she has already achieved a great deal and hopes to achieve even more in the future. Wouldn’t it be great if kids looked up to her and other academics rather than the Kardashian’s? Wouldn’t it be great if kids read magazines looking to find out if Pasterski had cracked the latest theory or finished the equation?
“I’m harder on myself than other people probably are on me. I definitely feel like I have way more to do. It’s great to get recognition now, but hopefully it builds up to something. I’ll hopefully be right about having some kind of gut feeling that [will become] rather big at some point. Fingers crossed.”
You can check out her website here
What is your field of research?
The CMS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
Who drew you to physics?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
On the cover of Scientific American!
Who are your scientific heroes?
Leon Lederman, Dudley Herschbach and Freeman Dyson.
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And if you’re feeling smart, you can check out some of her lectures here: