I'm currently starting my phd program in theoretical physics, specifically in quantum gravity.
I completed my masters studies in exactly the same field, under the supervision of Professor X. During that time, he proposed me a project of research. I didn't know if the project was important or useful, because my knowledge about the area was pretty limited.
I found the topic of quantum gravity extremely interesting, but the perspective and the project that Professor X proposed looked to me not very interesting or useful, but I thought that was because of my little knowledge about the area. Even with that, I succesfully completed my masters and even I received an award.
After that, I was searching for phd programs. In the end, I decided to continue with the project that I started during my masters, but now during my phd. I insist that I thought that my belief that the project was not very useful was only motivated by my lack of knowledge or experience.
Now, that I have advanced just a little bit more, we are up to publish our first research article. We have been discussing and talking, and all our work finally cristallyzed into a research paper. The problem that I have is that I still do not see why our project can be useful or interesting.
The examiners that approved my master's thesis looked interested in the project, and one of them congratulated my supervisor for involved me into a project that is different from other projects done during the masters.
What pushed me to publish this question is that, during one of our last sessions of discussion, my supervisor told me that he doesn't know how to justify the project properly, specially for the examiners that are going to read the paper before being published. And something in my mind said: well If YOU don't know how to justify your own project, how the hell am I going to know it?, I mean, are you sure that the project is useful?, will this project give me the opportunity to search for a GOOD posdoctoral position in the future?
Another problem that I have with my supervisor is that It is pretty difficult for me to understand his explanations. He explains things in a very bizarre way. I can perfectly understand the explanations of other people working in quantum gravity, specially the explanations from one of his colleagues. But the explanations of my supervisor are very very difficult to understand, specially when he tries to give examples.
The positive things are that he is patient, and he is always trying to help me. Moreover, he gave me financial support from the budget that the university gives him to go to a conference some months ago. He doesn't have any problems with my own way to work, and doesn't pressure me.
I have been thinking in change my supervisor, maybe start working with his colleague. But I would feel embarrassed If left my supervisor now, abandoning our project, specially if I do it to go with one of his colleagues. Another problem is that I have hear that his colleague, Professor Y, doesn't pay much attention to his students. One of them told me that he felt a little abandoned during his masters.
I received an offer from Professor Y to work in another perspective of the problem of quantum gravity. He didn't gave a specific project, but he offered to help me, but what I need to do in this case is to study more and to think in a project by myself. I mean, I have to study, to think in a calculation or something that I think that It could be interesting to develop, and Professor Y will tell me if the idea is correct or not, and he will give me hints to do the things by myself.
Professor X gives horrible explanations, but he pays attention to me. His project doesn't look very interesting to me, but he is there to help me. Professor Y makes more interesting things, and explain things in a better way, but I'm not sure if he will pay attention to me.
What should I do?
I have been thinking of trying to develop a plan for a project with Professor Y, and after that explain my concerns to Professor X, and to convince him to join our project with that of Professor Y. That would imply to abandom our current project, but not to my supervisor. Both are very good friends, so that could help.
I insist, I am not sure if the project of Professor X will give me the opportunity to search for good posdoctoral positions. And the posibilities in the area proposed by Professor Y seem extremely exciting to me, but I'm not sure if this just an illusion, because, in the end, I'm still a student.