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Physics A taste of Physics and Computer Science

  1. Mar 21, 2017 #1

    This is a follow up question of this thread:

    I have always been interested in Physics since high school but I found first year undergraduate Physics very boring and I think I may have been misled by PopSci articles/videos about what actual Physics is like.

    As a result, I am thinking about changing my major to Computer Science. So, can you guys tell me about some concepts or anything(in Physics or CS) that might help me figure out if I will be interested in it at a later stage or not?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2017 #2
    Well, what do you think you know about what higher level physics is like? What are you suspecting PopSci has mislead you about?
  4. Mar 22, 2017 #3
    I think it's definitely not as easy at it look and the exciting moments are much less as compared to shown in the media. Also, it involves a hell lot of math.
  5. Mar 22, 2017 #4
    That I can confirm. Physics is probably the most math intensive discipline outside mathematics itself. And it is certainly very hard. But I'd say it is worth it. Whether or not it is exciting is really up to what interests you. Personally I find learning about how the universe works to be exciting. Though it wouldn't be right to judge off of first year physics before you've even touched quantum, relativity, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism.
  6. Mar 22, 2017 #5
    Also, I have read that there are very few physics related jobs and most physicists migrate to other fields. Is that true?
  7. Mar 23, 2017 #6
    Depends on how broadly you define "physics related".
  8. Mar 23, 2017 #7
  9. Mar 23, 2017 #8
    What do think you won't get Maths in CS ?
    CS is less programming and more Maths.
    You can't run from Maths.
  10. Mar 23, 2017 #9
    I know that. I don't hate math. I quite like it. But the amount of math in CS is a lot less than Physics.
  11. Mar 23, 2017 #10
    I can't remember the site, but there are statistics on where Physics grads go after earning their degree. I believe it also depends on whether you go for a PhD or not. But yes, most don't end up in academia, I think somewhere around 20% do.
  12. Mar 23, 2017 #11


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    Can we use this thread as the poster child on why one should never make any serious decision or conclusion based on what one reads in pop-science books?

  13. Mar 23, 2017 #12
    I love how it gets people interested in science, but it definitely misleads people into thinking they know more than they do.
  14. Mar 23, 2017 #13
    To be clear, I actually did read actual books with equations(University Physics, HR etc.) but realized that that much is just the beginning and the road ahead is really long.
  15. Mar 25, 2017 #14
    I think you got a wrong idea about CS. If you think Physics is too difficult then the same goes for CS, learning algorithms and data structures is not easy as you think.
    Maths in CS is less interesting as compared to Physics.
  16. Mar 27, 2017 #15
    Okay. As per what I read online, interesting things in Physics are only done at the post-doc level while in CS a Bachelors or Masters is enough.
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