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Almost finished bachelors, ok where to go?

  1. Sep 14, 2008 #1
    Currently I am in my final semester of bachelors degree in physics. At the start of this semester I had 3 favorable options to pursue further studies in geophysics, condensed matter or accelerator science.

    So I planned to try doing a bit of work in all them.

    So I chose to do my final semester project on condensed matter in computational molecular dynamics to see whats it like. I didn't like it and I have ruled out to pursue further studies in condensed matter (still continuing the project).

    As a part of the university curriculum Ive been doing a student work placement at synchrotron in accelerator physics I like the work and the environment is nice and they have master projects there available. I know the people there and I think I have one foot in the door (more like a toe) since my work there has impressed them I think. Heaps of students from alot of universities come and go here to do experiments/experience so I would assume its highly competitive.

    Now for geophysics, I have meet a professor in geophysics to arrange a project I can work on in summer vacation to see what it is like.

    Now the issues I have;
    It takes me almost a 3 hr commute to synchrotron and I cant afford to get a place nearby. I don't like to travel, don't think anybody does. A scholarship wont even come close to covering expenses. I am also not sure if I can get a position, even if I complete a masters or PhD research projects there.
    If I pursue this option, is a career in high energy physics flexible? Can I get a job in a related field, perhaps radiation protection? It is highly completive?

    With geophysics at the moment industry need them, I haven't tried geophysics yet but I know I would like it since I've been doing some reading. Mining/Oil industry has fluctuated alot lately (in 20 years) and the job requires me to work in remote areas which isn't fun.

    I know thats alot of reading above, if I can get you guys opinion on this any contributions will help this decision will effect the outcome of my life LOL.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2008 #2
    Geophysics seems like a good choice, maybe.
  4. Sep 20, 2008 #3
    I imagine, and I could be wrong on some of this, that geophysics is the area that is producing the most research. The research is diverse, and I would describe it as being more on the creative side than the competitive side. In contrast, accelerator science is producing the least research. The golden era of particle physics was 90 years ago, and if particle accelerators cost upwards of $1 million (or $10 billion), it isn't likely to change. Condensed matter physics probably has the most applicability in industry, namely semiconductors and microchip fabrication.
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