What is Physicists: Definition and 445 Discussions

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe.
Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms.
Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole.
The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena.
Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies (also known as applied physics or engineering physics).

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. scribkibs

    What are the best physics lingo/starter pack/staples? (websites and resources)

    Forgive me for my bad explaining. What are all the usual sites/tools/etc. that physicists and physics students use? For example--arXiv, LaTeX, the best journals to keep up with the latest physics research/discoveries, the Feynman Lectures (and Feynman himself), Griffiths Electrodynamics, CERN...
  2. yezia

    Physics Are physicists good in EVERY branch of physics?

    Hi all, I've been pondering over this question for a long time. Of course physicists are specialists in a specific branch (even in those branches, sometimes they specialize themselves in an ultra-specific sub-branch) in which they produce research. I've noticed some professors at my uni...
  3. gleem

    Physicists in Industry - Action Needed

    The Institute of Physics of the UK (IOP) held a webinar in 2021 with industry representatives and university faculty to find a way to update the physics educational system for undergraduates so that they may be more readily assimilated into the modern workforce. An article published in the...
  4. bob012345

    Physicists Create ‘the Smallest, Crummiest Wormhole You Can Imagine'

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/30/science/physics-wormhole-quantum-computer.html My question is on the scale of 0 to 100 of completely misleading hype (zero) vs. good scientific reporting (100), where does this article stand? Someone can turn this into a formal poll if desired.
  5. Argonaut

    I Don't Ever Mention "Centrifugal Force" to Physicists

    I've just come across the following line while studying (Young & Freedman) and found it amusing. It sounds like a dirty family secret we discuss once and then should never mention again :biggrin:
  6. B

    Two Particles Connected by Massless Rod: Dynamics Analysis

    Two point-like particles of mass m. The particles are rigidly connected to each other with a mass-less rod of length L. The particles are initially at rest in such a way that one particle is at the origin and the other is at the point (0, L). A point-like particle of mass M collides with a...
  7. H

    Physicists Doing Art With Birefringent Materials

    https://physics.aps.org/articles/v15/147 That looks pretty cool. If more artists find out about it it might catch on.
  8. vanhees71

    A What do physicists mean when they say photons have a "path"?

    [Moderator's note: thread spun off from previous thread due to topic/level change.] This [Ed.: the claim that photons have a "path"] is a misconception of quantum theory already for massive particles. It's even more severely misleading for massless quanta of spin ##\geq 1##, which do not even...
  9. Question69

    The Emergence of Classicality -- Is Decoherence accepted among physicists?

    I have tried to study decoherence theory for a while now, and it does seem to answer why classical distributions arise, instead of quantum ones.Is this fully accepted as an explanation for a classical world out of a quantum one?
  10. S

    Examples of really famous female physicists?

    Such as Lisa Randall, Fabiola Gianotti, Shirley Ann Jackson, Ingrid Daubechies, Donna Strickland or Jocelyn Bell Burnell
  11. F

    Some questions for working Physicists from a curious young Physics student

    What are the majority of days like? Is it always the same everyday or is everyday something brand new? Is there any aspect of this career that you didn’t expect to like that you did? Is there any aspect you didn’t expect to dislike that you did? If you could change one aspect about your job...
  12. Trysse

    I Exploring Physicists' Opinion on 'Moving Through Time

    I recently had a discussion with my brother, about what it means to "move through time". His opinion is, that physicists cannot take this literally. His opinion is, that time is just an expression for change that takes place at different rates for different observers depending on their speed...
  13. S

    Is there any physicist doing research who was once an astronaut?

    Is there any former astronaut who is now doing research in theoretical physics (like e.g string theory)?
  14. Demystifier

    I Exploring the Meaning of Ontology: Easy for Kids, Hard for Quantum Physicists

    Ontology is the easiest and the hardest concept in the field of quantum foundations. It is the easiest because even a child can understand it. When a child asks: "What is the world made of?", she asks about ontology. When you answer: "It's made of atoms" and when she asks "What does the atom...
  15. ohwilleke

    I Why Do Physicists Use Gaussian Error Distributions?

    David C. Bailey. "Not Normal: the uncertainties of scientific measurements." Royal Society Open 4(1) Science 160600 (2017). How bad are the tails? According to Bailey in an interview, "The chance of large differences does not fall off exponentially as you'd expect in a normal bell curve," and...
  16. S

    Future Italian Nobel laureates in physics?

    Apart from, perhaps, Giorgio Parisi, are there any potential nobel prize winners from Italy or anyone who has worked in Italy?
  17. Lyra

    Programs Exploring a Career in Medical Physics: Advice from PhD Physicists

    Hi All, I am currently doing a PhD in condensed matter physics (experiment) and want to enter medical physics. My ideal job is more like a mix of research and clinical as I want to be able to actually help people. I wonder whether anyone has any suggestions on what I should do. I already have a...
  18. Hacker Jack

    What do theoretical physicists actually do?

    What are they employed to do most of the time? I read that Albert Einstein was working at a patent office when he came up with his theories. So do theoretical physicists work on stuff they are interested in their free time as opposed to when they are at work?
  19. Twigg

    What's the deal with plasma physicists setting heat cap. ratio to 3?

    This has persistently bugged me in my intro plasma course. They keep using ##\gamma = 3## aka ##N_d = 1## (where ##N_d## is the number of degrees of freedom in the molecule) as an approximation. See for example, the Bohm-Gross dispersion curve. I can tell you from deriving this that the factor...
  20. W

    I What do physicists mean by "local degrees of freedom"?

    When physicists talk about a theory having local degrees of freedom, what is exactly meant by that statement? What are examples of theories with local degrees of freedom and what are examples of theories with no local degrees of freedom?
  21. A

    A Why physicists cannot renormalize all divergent integrals?

    Why the physicists have troubles with infinities in many physical theories, such as quantum gravity? Why cannot they just use divergent integrals and regularize or renormalize them in the end so to obtain finite values? I mean, operations on divergent integrals are not a problem, and techniques...
  22. J

    Physics Research for Undergraduate Physicists not looking to go into academics

    I'm a second year undergraduate theoretical physics student. I really enjoy physics and if I'm perfectly honest I'm not certain whether or not I want to pursue a career in academics or not. However, I've had a question on my mind relating to research experience required for careers outside of...
  23. BWV

    Physicists Fix Economics: Ole Peters' Ergodic Hypothesis

    Nature recently published this piece with another physicist (Ole Peters from the Santa Fe Institute) trying to 'fix' economics: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41567-019-0732-0 With a short paper that, to my reading, just comes up with a toy model of geometric brownian motion with a small...
  24. sahilmm15

    Studying Scholars & Physicists: A Look into Their Approach & Use of Online Videos

    I am curious about how top scholars or passionate physicists approach a new topic or a chapter. Do they just dive right in or they do something else before approaching the topic? What's their method of working? Also, I want to know the significance of online videos in understanding a topic...
  25. AndreasC

    Chemistry Chemistry books for physicists

    I want (need tbh) to learn some chemistry. I'm pretty comfortable in my understanding of the standard QM I and II you'd learn at uni, and I'm decent at statistical physics. I am interested in condensed matter physics, and I would like to learn some chemistry. Well, more like "need", because it's...
  26. B

    What do physicists think of the Efficient Market hypothesis?

    Just wanted a fresh perspective on this considering that physics is more successful at modeling reality compared to finance.
  27. S

    I Physicists who propose that symmetries are emergent?

    I know of some physicists (e.g Holger B Nielsen, Grigory Volovik or Edward Witten) who have proposed that all symmetries (Local gauge symmetries associated with forces and dynamics and global symmetries associated with conservation laws) are emergent rather than fundamental. Are there any other...
  28. Redmagic

    Physicists build Graphene Thermodynamic Battery

    I read an article in Science Daily 'Physicists build circuit that generates clean, limitless power from graphene'. Can someone explain how to take this from the physics science experiment to the engineering prototype and implementation stage? Is this technology going to revolutionize the mobile...
  29. LCSphysicist

    I What are current Physicists' general positions on the Copenhagen Interpretation?

    Actually, is not a doubt as a question, in which there is wrong or right. I just want to update myself with respect to the current physicists opinion about the Copenhagen interpretation of Bohr and Heisenberg. Summarizing, there is a consensus among the majority? In another words, there is still...
  30. Svend

    Algebra Find the Perfect Group Theory Book for Physicists

    I have failed a course on group theory for physicists in my university, and i need a good book to learn group theory from because anthony zee's book is simply too hard to read. His book is verbose, glosses over many concepts, and is not very rigorous. Then the exercises in the book are very...
  31. N

    A question to physicists: Should I have an advanced level of mathematics?

    Hi there. I'd like to ask you, educated folk, a question. I'm graduating from university next summer. My major is the law. Although, all the time I keep some kind of passion for physics. Even though I am not a techie. I realize that I graduated as a dummy in math, physics, and chemistry due to...
  32. DrChinese

    Physicists Discover Neutrinos Just Little Italian Neutrons

    https://www.theonion.com/physicists-hail-major-breakthrough-after-discovering-ne-1844363984 "Confirming the search for the mysterious Godfather particle was finally over, physicists at the University of Chicago hailed what they call a major breakthrough Monday after discovering neutrinos are...
  33. Demystifier

    Classical Classical electrodynamics for high-energy physicists

    I've just found a recent very interesting and very modern textbook on classical electrodynamics. It starts with special relativity (rather than electrostatics) and contains a lot of high-energy topics, including renormalization (within classical realm), massive vector fields, gravitational...
  34. T

    I Physicists entangle 15 trillion hot atoms

    Condensed, simplified version:: https://www.livescience.com/physicists-entangle-15-trillion-hot-atoms.html The link at the end of the article does not always work, here is one that does. The research article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15899-1 Cheers, Tom
  35. K

    I New paper by physicists Ken Wharton and Nathan Argaman on Retrocausality

    I found this a very interesting article: Retrocausality may sound like science fiction, but it might be the best way to explain certain features of the quantum world, as detailed in a major new paper by physicists Ken Wharton and Nathan Argaman. Published in Reviews of Modern Physics, Wharton...
  36. F

    I How do physicists know that an external world exists?

    We know that whatever we experience as happening in the universe is actually a model created in our brains. For example when we look at the Milky Way Galaxy, light rays are transduced in the rods and cones into nerve impulses and we experience those impulses and not the actually light from the...
  37. TechieDork

    Are theoretical physicists and pure mathematicians just like priests?

    I was often told that If you want to pursue something pure and abstract like theoretical physics and pure maths you have to give up the materialism , say good bye to your dream of living a big house , swimming pool and a yatch. there is no weath in these fields. And people who work in these...
  38. ZapperZ

    Tips on how Biologists and Physicists should talk to one another.

    This is not only useful to biologists and physicists, but also to anyone wanting to engage with biologists and/or physicists. Thirteen tips for engaging with physicists, as told by a biologist Twelve tips for engaging with biologists, as told by a physicist Zz.
  39. J

    I What percentage of physicists believe in a simulation hypothesis?

    how many approximately scientists believe or support this hypothesis?
  40. TechieDork

    Physics Does the age of quantum computing mean a brighter future for physicists?

    The arrival of quantum computing reminds me of "the manhattan project" and "the sputnik alert" when physicists are highly demanded. And this makes me wonder if the age of quantum computing means the better future for physicists since the development of quantum computers needs at least...
  41. bhobba

    I What Do Most Physicists Call the Quantum-To-Classical Cut?

    Hi All This is just a dumb question. I have usually called the the Quantum/Classical cut the Von-Neumann cut because Von-Neumann's classic text was the first serious QM book I read - nearly 40 years ago now - seems like yesterday. Recently I noticed in some of the papers I have been...
  42. warhammer

    I Is Theoretical Physics Progressing Slower Than Experimental Physics?

    In respect to the above question, I also have a follow up question. Is progress in Theoretical Physics somewhat slow currently as compared to Experimental Physics?
  43. D

    Quantum Quantum Fluctuations & Virtual Bosons: A Guide for Amateur Physicists

    I am searching for anything on quantum fluctuations and virtual bosons for someone who is a serious but amateur physicist ie. I have completed undergrad physics/math and some graduate level math at university. I am having a hard time finding anything that isn't beyond pop science. Not really...
  44. J

    B PEMDAS and the Ambiguity of Mathematical Notation in Physics

    In case you have not seen the equation that has gone viral recently https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/math/a28569610/viral-math-problem-2019-solved/ This lead me to this Why are physicists allowed to break the rules? What reasoning does the Physics Review and Feynman have for making...
  45. M

    Do physicists really need to master mathematical modeling?

    Summary: Do physicists really need to master mathematical modeling? Do physicists really need to master mathematical modeling? As far as I know Mathematical modeling is a separate discipline form Physics?
  46. C

    The Great Physicists' Road Trip by Ms. Rachel C. Millison

    Great physicists from the past decide to return to Earth for one last road-trip vacation to the coast together. They all appear on Earth on the designated evening. Heisenberg pulls up behind the wheel of a gigantic 1930's car, a huge grin on his face. As they're getting in the car, Hubble looks...
  47. N

    Do chemists think differently than physicists?

    Summary: Do chemists think differently than physicists? And should I Change my subject in University... Hey guys, I'm asking myself this question in hoping to find myself in life… some advice and ideas would be really helpful. I'm from Europe and I'm actually studying chemistry. I still Need...
  48. jedishrfu

    B Physicists spot the signatures of nuclear fusion in a table-top device

    Want a nuclear fusion reactor for your home or office? No problemo... https://physicsworld.com/a/physicists-spot-the-signatures-of-nuclear-fusion-in-a-table-top-device/
  49. T

    Physics Experienced Medical Physicists looking for employment in Dubai

    Hi, My partner and I are both UK state registered medical physicists in radiotherapy. We are currently looking to relocate to Dubai but I'm having difficulty finding any jobs online. I can find plenty for other Emirates but we are specifically looking for Dubai. I know if a physicist was...