Twenty two-year-old MIT graduate and Harvard Ph.D. Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski explores some of the most challenging and complex subjects in physics as much as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking did early in their careers. Pasterski, a first-generation Cuban-American woman, was only 14 years old when the young scientist’s single-engine plane astonished experts at MIT.
Pasterski aims to learn more about the nature of gravity, spacetime and black holes. The young scientist mainly focuses on understanding quantum gravity, which explains gravity within the context of quantum mechanics and may potentially change the world’s views about the entire universe.
“Years of pushing the bounds of what I could achieve led me to physics,” Pasterski added. Accordingly, physics for her is “elegant but also full of utility.”
The young woman has already received job offers from Amazon.com’s founder, Jeff Bezos. Interestingly, Pasterski was initially wait-listed at MIT.
Peggy Udden, an executive secretary at MIT, remarked that the staff was amazed upon seeing the video of Pasterski building a plane. Pasterski’s potential was obvious from the beginning so they eventually accepted the application. Ultimately, the young scientist graduated with a grade average of 5.00, the school’s highest score possible.
Pasterski noted that she is not a fan of social media but has a website, PhysicsGirl, where the list of all the achievements and proficiencies can be seen. Plus, she has close friends but has never had a boyfriend. Smoking or drinking alcohol is not a pastime. “I’d rather stay alert, and hopefully I’m known for what I do and not what I don’t do.”
Unfortunately, only 26 percent of US science grads work in their chosen fields. Nearly 30 percent of grads with degrees in physics and chemistry are unemployed.
Still, Pasterski remains undaunted. For the young MIT graduate, working in physics is exciting enough, unlike a regular 9-to-5 job.