A Rhode Island man is celebrating the achievement of his lifelong dream after earning his doctorate in physics at age 89.
Manfred Steiner, who previously earned a medical degree and a doctorate in biochemistry, said his attention turned back to physics after he retired at age 70 from working as a hematologist at Brown University.
Steiner said he had always wanted to story physics, but went into medicine, instead, at his family’s urging. He said retirement allowed him to start taking physics classes at Brown.
“It’s an old dream that starts in my childhood,” Steiner said in a Brown University news release. “I always wanted to become a physicist.”
Steiner said he took one or two classes a week until he had earned a degree.
“So, I went to all the classes and eventually, I made it on to graduate school and I thought, ‘Why not continue now? I might as well get a Ph.D.'” he told WPRI-TV.
Steiner said his passion for physics is driven by the field’s “precision.”
“In medicine, I always felt there were so many variables,” he said. “In physics, there are some variables, a lot of them actually, but you can go to a precision that is unmatched anywhere in the other scientific world.”
Steiner was awarded his doctorate after successfully defending his thesis, “Corrections to the Geometrical Interpretation of Bosonization.”
Steiner said he is considering walking at Brown’s commencement ceremony in May.
“Even though I am old, I would like to continue with physics. And even after writing and publishing this paper, I want to continue my research,” he said. “I always tried to keep my brain sharp. Physics certainly helped me do that.”