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An EE want to specialize in E&M field theory

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I am studying EE and want to know more about electric and magnetic field theory in more detail probably at the Quantum level.i realized that studying physics will suffice that but i am getting negative feedback from others that it will be not good for my career,they are saying that these things do not belong to my field but i don't understand how electric and magnetic field theory is unrelated to electrical engineering.The main reason i want to study E&M theory or physics in general because i believe that if i know how these natural processes occur then i can build electrical machines based on new principles which are more efficient than existing machines which are based on the Faraday's law electromagnetic induction discovered in the 19th century!.can anyone suggest what will be the advantage/disadvantages of doing PhD in physics(experimental/theoretical) after bachelors degree in electrical engineering.Will it help my cause? Btw i live in India.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
E&M stops at Maxwell's equations in EE. It is primarily used as a tool in creating high frequency circuits as well as antennas. You will find that E&M is already well-understood at the quantum level thanks to Feynman, Dirac, and others.

If you want to do something new, I strongly suggest joining a physics research group, because they are the ones pushing forward in redesigning existing devices (e.g., spin-transistors).
 
  • #3
ZapperZ
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I am studying EE and want to know more about electric and magnetic field theory in more detail probably at the Quantum level.i realized that studying physics will suffice that but i am getting negative feedback from others that it will be not good for my career,they are saying that these things do not belong to my field but i don't understand how electric and magnetic field theory is unrelated to electrical engineering.The main reason i want to study E&M theory or physics in general because i believe that if i know how these natural processes occur then i can build electrical machines based on new principles which are more efficient than existing machines which are based on the Faraday's law electromagnetic induction discovered in the 19th century!.can anyone suggest what will be the advantage/disadvantages of doing PhD in physics(experimental/theoretical) after bachelors degree in electrical engineering.Will it help my cause? Btw i live in India.
I suggest you look into the field of Accelerator Physics. There are many electrical engineers who go into this field studying EM fields in various configurations, be it in accelerating structures, computational, or design of RF field geometries. This is one of the few areas where physics and engineering truly merge.

There are various Accelerator Physics schools that are held in various parts of the world that carry college credits. See if your university will accept such credits and will allow you to do such a program.

Check out this thread as well:

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=410271


Zz.
 
  • #4
will PhD in physics will help me in the field of alternate energy?i want to contribute to the solution of growing energy crisis of the world. i actually want to develop machinery involving say cold fusion, etc.
 
  • #5
i mean are you getting what i want to do
 
  • #6
If one were to do this with a physics degree would an EE degree be strongly recommended/required in addition?
I know this is kind of the opposite question of the OP but since the end result is the same i thought I might ask it here.
 
  • #7
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To the OP: No, no! You are getting bad advice. Studying EM fields is the core topic in EE that will allow you to branch into any other area. It's the pinnacle of the EE mountain from which you can descend into any EE valley.

It's the best possible career move you can make unless you don't like physics. EM is mostly about solving radiation and scattering problems in the classical realm.
 
  • #8
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Hey ZapperZ, if I did get into this field it would be from an EE degree. Since EE would probably be more on the actual design of things, would you know if a lot of the EE's have a PE license? I ask this because there seems to be a lot of dangerous elements (radiation, high voltage, etc.) involved with an accelerator.
 
  • #9
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PE license? What's that?

Just because you work in accelerator physics doesn't mean you work AT a particle accelerator. It depends on what you do. If you do work at a particle accelerator (i.e. testing design, etc.), then of course there are safety issues that one has to deal with. No lab or institution will want to put you in danger. Just go to any accelerator facility, and you'll see shielding, interlock, and other safety measures.

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking here though..

Zz.
 
  • #10
what are the advantages of having a Phd in Physics (if i manage to do it) with an EE degree in the field of alternate energy?
 
  • #11
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PE license? What's that?

Just because you work in accelerator physics doesn't mean you work AT a particle accelerator. It depends on what you do. If you do work at a particle accelerator (i.e. testing design, etc.), then of course there are safety issues that one has to deal with. No lab or institution will want to put you in danger. Just go to any accelerator facility, and you'll see shielding, interlock, and other safety measures.

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking here though..

Zz.
Thanks for the response.

PE license = Professional Engineer license. Ala wiki: The earmark that distinguishes a licensed or registered engineer is the authority to sign and seal or "stamp" engineering documents (reports, drawings, and calculations) for a study, estimate, design or analysis, thus taking legal responsibility for it.

From an EE standpoint it seems there's more liability in designing accelerators than say designing a circuit board for a computer. I wasn't necessarily asking for those that work at an accelerator but those in designing them. I also am not implying only large accelerators either. I'll be more clear next time.
 
  • #12
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Most engineers who work in accelerators are either at National labs or universities. The ones that work in private industries tend to work either in smaller companies that specializes in SBIR-type work, or in RF technologies/medical accelerators. A lot of these tend to be computational modeling.

You need to keep in mind that these structures are rather expensive. A LINAC itself can cost upwards of $50k, up to beyond $200k. These things are not built often or quickly. So a lot of effort are usually done in the computational design of such things, which often involves a lot of physics and engineering.

Zz.
 
  • #13
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will PhD in physics will help me in the field of alternate energy?i want to contribute to the solution of growing energy crisis of the world. i actually want to develop machinery involving say cold fusion, etc.
what are the advantages of having a Phd in Physics (if i manage to do it) with an EE degree in the field of alternate energy?
What about applied plasma physics (eg. plasma confinement) for nuclear fusion applications? That would require a strong bg in EM.
 

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