I am someone with an undergraduate degree in physics and am currently a over a year into a PhD in maths. However I am not feeling happy for several reasons:
- I told my supervisor right from the beginning that my interests were in physics (and very specific areas of physics), yet I have spent a year without doing any physics.
- I have been studying a problem that on the one hand seems extremely difficult and on the other contains no physics and doesn't interest me, though I'm worried about souring our relationship if I tell him to his face that it doesn't interest me.
- Part of what makes the problem so difficult is that my supervisor has no clue how to solve the problem and suggestions he gives are never useful. In my meetings my supervisors often says things that are wrong and (combined with the lack of ideas on his end) it has somewhat shaken my faith in him. On one occasion he got angry when I disagreed with him on something, even though I was right. I get a slight sense he resents me for this. Instead of being supervised by someone who seems knowledgeable I feel I am for all intents and purposes working on my own.
- I am concerned that I have picked an area that doesn't interest me as much as I thought it did.
All of these things make me feel depressed and make me want to drop out and start again somewhere else, somewhere I can do research that interests me. I don't want to waste 4 years of my life simply out of a desire to "see it through." If I drop out and apply to another PhD program is the fact that you've already dropped out once damning?