Replying to this 7 years late, but it's great to see another INFP who studied physics! I also did undergrad and msc in physics, and did pretty well throughout. I actually really liked mathematical derivations + machinaries and used to rederive everything on the chalkboard without looking at the book as a way to test my understanding. I liked studying both math and physics with rigorous proofs. I definitely agree that I've been struggling afterwards. In fourth year during undergrad, I felt I was a bit different than others in the sense that for others "this is research is interesting" or "this research is in hot topic" was enough motivation to delve into certain topic, but I felt like my motivation tend to be more idealistic and had to be something like "this field can really help humanity but current understanding is quite lacking, so I need to get on this." Im currently doing phd in materials science and while I really like the "big picture" of the researxh that I am doing, I do struggle with everyday lab work that can seem quite mundane. Also the pain of lab equipment breaking and having to constantly fix them...I'm an INFP who got into Berkeley with full scholarship and ended with a Master's degree. I majored in physics all the way. I didn't realize I was an INFP until much, much later and I think you are at a great advantage with having such knowledge about yourself and the people around you in any given situation.
What I have found, surrounded by soooo many NT's who (in just my opinion) are a bit more confident that they know what they know. For us, however, we tend to see beauty in the patterns. I remember I was with an INTJ friend and we were studying Real Analysis beginning with the topology of the real number line. I knew I was seeing things different than my friend. I said, "I didn't realize the real number line had a topology. But it does in such a profound way! The way there are two types of infinities--countable and uncountable, one being "more" infinite than the other." My friend was on mildly impressed. "Yeah, I guess that's cool. The machinery in the proofs of all of the theorems are more interesting to me." To me math and physics are so beautiful. Like nature's poetry. When I took my first physics class at Berkeley (in which I ranked #2 out of 200 students) it was life-changing, which I can only describe as Being able to see the whole world in color for the first time, never having known I was colorblind before. My INTP friends (and be ready to be completely surrounded by INTP's if you go into a hard science). So yes, INFP's can flourish in the hard sciences. The hardest part for me came when it was time to graduate and go to work. I ended up teaching physics at a community college so that I wouldn't have to have the constant stress of spewing out paper after paper about things that to be honest, I found boring. I don't care about the vibration of the Cesium atom! This stuff is easy for INTP's, but for NF's it's so removed from beauty or meaning or from being of service to humans and animals that I couldn't force myself to do that! And I'm sorry to say that most careers involving physics are just like that. Academia or Engineering or Teaching. May be a simplification of the career opportunities of someone coming out with a physics degree but is a reasonable generalization. The only one I could stand was the one that dealt with teaching others. I don't make a lot of money because I need so much time to myself, that I just wouldn't do well with a full time job. But I teach a couple of classes at a CC and have a private tutoring business online. Of those two, I enjoy the private tutoring sooooo much more than teaching classes. But overall, anything that helps students first realize they were colorblind and helping them see a rainbow, as if for the first time, yes, I guess that must be my INFP "passionate cause". Maybe you too.
Whoop, forensics and criminal psychology major. \o/
I can't do something if people aren't directly related to it - I used to be a chemistry major and struggled through it. The forensics curriculum is basically a chemistry major, just with added anthropology and psychology - I do the same stuff and now I love it, stupidly long equations and all.
That's for sure, lol. Vitally.