Sabrina Pasterski, the new « Einstein » who could upset our vision of the world

Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski was only 14 years old when she set foot in the offices of the MIT campus with her plans for a single-engine plane. Nine years later, the young researcher graduated from MIT with the maximum mark and candidate for a doctorate at Harvard University. Brilliant, the young woman impresses and for the most eminent minds on the planet, she could one day change our vision of the world.

His name probably doesn’t tell you much. It must be said that the young woman is discreet, at least on the public scene. No smartphone and no account on social networks, she shares her research only on her PhysicsGirl site. The 23-year-old Cuban-American is now considered the new Albert Einstein, a flattering comparison made nine years ago when the then-teenage girl walked through the doors of college to present video of the making of his single engine. It was a demonstration that caught the attention of Peggy Udden, executive secretary at MIT, who immediately detected the potential of this future physicist.

Eight years later, the young woman obtained the maximum score on the MIT exam thanks to her new theories around the most complex problems of quantum physics. Passionate about black holes and space-time, Sabrina is indeed very interested in quantum gravity, a scientific field that tries to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity. Her talent does not go unnoticed and it is thanks to her publications that Sabrina was able to obtain numerous scholarships to continue her work. She has the consideration of the scientific community and Sabrina Pasterski has only one passion in her life: science. For her :  » when you’re tired, you sleep and when you’re not, you exercise.e”.

Pasterski is exceptional in many ways, but she also represents a growing trend. In 1999, the number of graduates in physics was at its lowest level in the United States with only 3178 degrees awarded. In 2015, according to the American Institute of Physics, 8,081 were awarded. Doctorates in physics also reached a record level in 2015 with 1,860 new doctors. A growing trend therefore, in particular due to the ever-increasing number of female registrations. Sabrina Pasterski and others today follow in the footsteps of Marie S. Curie, the mother of modern physics who was the first female Nobel Prize winner in the entire history of science.

Marie Cury disrupted our understanding of the natural world in her time, but she was not alone. At a time when mathematics was a « man’s trade, » Ada Lovelace learned aristocratic manners but pursued her passion for what would later become computer science. She was the first female programmer in history. We also think of Dian Fossey, the famous conservation biologist who fought with passion to save the mountain gorillas like Jane Goodall with the chimpanzees. These women and many others have radically changed our view of the world and at the height of her 23 years, Sabrina Pasterski seems to be of the same stamp.


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