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The Question

(Submitted February 24, 1997)

I'm 14, in the 9th grade and wish to become a theoretical physicist. I have wanted to be one since the first grade (actually I wanted to be a rocket scientist and became more specific). I was hoping you could give me some advice to help me on my way. Any books, magazines, web sites, people, colleges, or any other general advice. Thank you for your time.

The Answer

The most important thing for you to worry about at this point is to do well in your classes, especially in math and science. To get a good overview of what we do here at NASA in the area of high-energy astrophysics, check out our learning center:

Info. on "Quantum", a magazine put out by the National Science Teachers Association on physics and math is available at:

Finally, "Imagine", is put out by the Johns Hopkins University with info. for pre-college students. A recent issue focused on Physics and Astronomy, including some profiles of some of the scientists in our lab. The URL is:

I suspect you are already reading magazines like Discover and Scientific American to hear about recent developments.

Good luck,
Andy Ptak

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