I'm a PhD student in Physics and I'm very worried about something. I have participated in two conferences in the last year. The first one was in a field related to the one I'm studying and the second exactly related to the field I'm studying.
In these two conferences something got me very worried. I've watched the seminars and during the seminars I didn't have any idea of questions to ask. On the other hand I saw people raising all sorts of interesting questions that led to all sorts of interesting discussions.
This got me extremely worried because (1) I think that asking the right questions is the most important thing in order to do a good research and (2) asking questions and starting discussions seems like the way collaborations get started and certainly having people to collaborate with is very important.
After going through this in the first conference, in the second I've watched the lectures trying hard to find things to ask, but I only got ideas of some things that I felt could be so stupid that people could look at me as someone who isn't really good at the subject.
Now the main worry I have is: having ideas of questions to ask during seminars like that is something that comes with experience (and therefore all this is just reflecting the fact that I'm inexperienced) or is it some sort of ability that either we have or we don't? This is being quite alarming to me, because I fear that this might tell that perhaps I just have no ability to do research, which would be terrible to me since I really do want to follow this career.
Finally, a disclaimer. I know some people might say "talk to your advisor about this", but I really never had conversations about the process of doing research with him. In fact the way he works is more like "calculate this, then we talk about the calculation" and he really does not have much patience to talk about much else, so that I don't really feel comfortable bringing this up.