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How To Become A Theoretical Physicist

by Silverbackman
Tags: physicist, theoretical
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Vinay Hebbar
#19
Dec10-11, 09:14 PM
P: 25
Quote Quote by DivisionByZro View Post
That's weird. In an undergraduate program in physics or math, a serious student should expect to spend thousand(s) of hours dedicated to their subject. This time is spent completing assignments, listening and participating in discussions with peers and professors, passing examinations, reading relevant material out of one's own initiative, and more. These thousands of hours (assuming diligent study; not all students spend even 1k hours) give a student plenty of time to really get a feel for what physics/math really is.

You're saying that courses don't matter? Courses don't make you love/hate your subject? I'm sorry, but reading a little popular science and then watching documentaries/movies or reading novels about physics does not cut it. A physicist/mathematician is someone who has dedicated a large portion of their life to their subject.

It is uncommon and almost unheard of nowadays to not have an undergraduate degree in science and go on to get a phd. Going back to the quote above; it IS the courses which you take that make you love or hate a subject. You spend months working with a few ideas and solving sometimes very difficult problems. You sometimes have to stay up late at night, or not go out on weekends, or maybe even skip thanksgiving with the family (I've done that too). It's all these times that make you realize how much you really like your subject.
Im not saying courses are not essential.. It matters a lot as u quoted.. I cant afford that now.. Im doing my B.E in electronics.. So in that time i need to learn some stuff by my own.. I myself wish to be graduated in physics and like the way as u mentioned.. Till then, until i finish my undergrad degree i need to fill the gaps learning physics.. Thats what i meant..
Vinay Hebbar
#20
Dec10-11, 09:28 PM
P: 25
Quote Quote by DivisionByZro View Post

You're saying that courses don't matter? Courses don't make you love/hate your subject? I'm sorry, but reading a little popular science and then watching documentaries/movies or reading novels about physics does not cut it. A physicist/mathematician is someone who has dedicated a large portion of their life to their subject.
I agree with this perfectly bro.. Yes I need a way to didicate my life to this subject thats what i intend.. Private message me the courses i can take for now and the standard texts and links i need to go through.. I agree perfectly with you and im a scratch now.. Help me out.. Will be grateful to ya.. :)
matt91a
#21
Dec11-11, 10:10 AM
P: 15
I'm still baffled by this. If you want to do research then i assume you would want to do a PhD? If you do, departments won't even look at you unless you've had a formal education in maths and/or physics. (This applies in EU and UK. Not so sure about the US)
Vinay Hebbar
#22
Dec12-11, 02:56 AM
P: 25
Quote Quote by matt91a View Post
I'm still baffled by this. If you want to do research then i assume you would want to do a PhD? If you do, departments won't even look at you unless you've had a formal education in maths and/or physics. (This applies in EU and UK. Not so sure about the US)
I still can do graduation taking priliminary courses that cover undergrad topics and topic of interest and go with my graduation.. Thats what i have heard.. This is the only possibility i suppose..
e.bar.goum
#23
Dec12-11, 05:01 AM
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P: 189
Quote Quote by Silverbackman View Post
It seems like there is no specific Theoretical Physics major. You can major in Astrophysics, Biophysics, Chemical Physics, Engineering Physics, and just plain Physics.
My university has a theoretical physics major!
Dembadon
#24
Dec12-11, 10:43 AM
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Quote Quote by e.bar.goum View Post
My university has a theoretical physics major!
I find that very odd. Usually, one doesn't major in "theoretical physics." They major in physics, then choose a specialty based on their interests. The specialty itself might be theoretical in nature, but I can't say that I've ever seen a program offering a "B.S. in theoretical physics" before. Are you sure it isn't just a physics degree that will encourage you to specialize at some point?


Note: I'm not sure about other countries; I'm speaking of the US.
e.bar.goum
#25
Dec12-11, 04:50 PM
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P: 189
Quote Quote by Dembadon View Post
I find that very odd. Usually, one doesn't major in "theoretical physics." They major in physics, then choose a specialty based on their interests. The specialty itself might be theoretical in nature, but I can't say that I've ever seen a program offering a "B.S. in theoretical physics" before. Are you sure it isn't just a physics degree that will encourage you to specialize at some point?


Note: I'm not sure about other countries; I'm speaking of the US.
Quite sure.

You'll be happy to note I'm not in the US though. We have two majors per degree, and you can get, say, a BSc in Physics/Theoretical Physics, or Physics/Astrophysics, or Astrophysics/Theoretical physics, or Mathematics/Theoretical physics etc. etc. A theoretical physics major obviously has a lot of overlap with the physics major, but has higher maths/computational modeling requirements, and you have to do all of the higher level theoretical courses (GR, quantum field theory etc).

Obviously, in either case, you specialise based on your interests, but an undergrad physics degree should be as broad as possible, and specialisation generally occurs through undergrad research programs. For instance, in my first three years of uni, I completed research topics (worth the same amount as a "normal" course) in black hole information theories, volatile element distribution in the solar system and in the effect of transfer on heavy-ion nuclear reactions. In your fourth year, known as an "honours year", you do a full year of research along with some (very) difficult coursework, and if you get a sufficiently high mark, you can go straight on to your PhD, which would be the equivalent of skipping all of the coursework in grad school in the US.
Dembadon
#26
Dec12-11, 04:52 PM
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Ahh. Good to know.
Aizen_uchiha
#27
Mar24-12, 02:27 AM
P: 2
based from the discussion, i understand that to become a theoretical physicist, one MUST have a degree in physic..however,
1. izzit possible for someone with medical degree to continue study to become theoretical physicist?
2, if not do they have to take physic course in order to continue to be theoretical physicist?
niklaus
#28
Mar24-12, 03:27 AM
P: 66
The physics and math you learn in a medical degree in no way prepare you for grad level work in physics. You would basically have to start over.
Aizen_uchiha
#29
Mar24-12, 10:03 AM
P: 2
is there any online degree in physic i can enroll in?
BaraaMuhammad
#30
Jun14-12, 09:05 PM
P: 1
Well I'm taking general subjects of physics I have about 3 terms left to finish my undergrad in physics, I'm also taking a bunch of math courses as much as I can to help me with my math, I wish to major in particle physics (Theoretical) I did take some experimental subjects and I will take some more labs in the future but only to get better understanding of the theory part.
Am I going on the right path?
Any suggestions on how to become a better physicist?


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