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Question
Hi,

Why some scientists are awarded Nobel prize for physics while others who make similiar discoveries are not awarded. Why physicists are paid less than engineers although they are required to have more knowledge.

Answer
The Nobel prize is only given out once a year, and only to a very small (usually 2-3) group of physicists.  There are tens of thousands of physicists graduating every year, and hundreds to thousands making amazing discoveries.  So that's just impossible.  Therefore, the Nobel committee picks what they deem to be the most important from amongst the nominations.  That's a political process, and not my area of expertise.

Engineers are paid more than physicists on *average.*  However, many physicists are willing to work lower-paying jobs (harder to find) to stay in academic research and/or teaching jobs.  I did it for years, but immediately upon leaving made a lot more money.  There are many physicists who go to work in finance with their analytical skills, they're paid in the millions per year.  It's not about the knowledge or degree, the pay depends on the industry to which that knowledge is applied.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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