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Physics Are experimental high energy physics jobs this boring?

  • Thread starter dinoguy
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Hello everyone. First of all allow me introduce my self briefly. I'm a guy from not that high progressed country of particle physics, and i graduated almost a year ago with degree of a bachelor in physics. I was a top student in my uni and got some prestigious scholarships. Just like many other people i chose physics because i want to know about the fundamental building block of the universe.

After graduation, i got employed as a research assistant in experimental high energy physics lab in an institute of my country, and i didn't choose experimental hep out of my interest, i wanted to be in a group of theoretical hep, but a position availability was as so at that time. Well, you may tell me that how luck you are for getting employed with an undergrad degree, etc, and that's may be so, but truth is position is not that competitive here.

Anyway, ever since i've worked here, i'm constantly unmotivated and doing research seems boring. I feel like i'm a programmer and not a physicist etc. I know writing code is mandatory everywhere around the world. What i'm saying is the reality of science is not like romanticized version of science we see from tv shows and books. This experimental side has also influenced my theoretical interest as i'm losing my interest here also.

I think experimental hep labs should hire programmers, not physicists.
My interest is leaning towards earth science now.
Has anyone find hep to be boring?
 
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Vanadium 50

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So you took a job without knowing what it entailed, and are unhappy that with only a brand new bachelor in physics you aren't leading the research effort and it is somehow the field's fault?
 

symbolipoint

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dinoguy,

Look for a different or new job at some other organization. Does your current organization have positions into which you could move up or into if you stay at the organization long enough?
 
So you took a job without knowing what it entailed, and are unhappy that with only a brand new bachelor in physics you aren't leading the research effort and it is somehow the field's fault?
I did my intern in that institute and my bachelor's thesis is QFT. Where did i say i'm unhappy because i'm not leading the research etc?
What i said is i know theoretical side of it, but working in experimental hep seems not what i expected and boring to me.
 
dinoguy,

Look for a different or new job at some other organization. Does your current organization have positions into which you could move up or into if you stay at the organization long enough?
From looking at my coworkers who have worked here several years seems that's not possible.
 
Btw, i know it's wrong to call myself as a physicist based on my bachelor's degree. Having a bachelor in physics is like a kindergartener to adulthood of PhD. What i planned before started working here was to have a research experience to apply study abroad in graduate level since my country's particle physics's not good. But working here and searching about even top institutes and what they're doing seem like experimental particle physics/hep is not what i'm looking for. I'm disappointed that this experience is also taking my theoretical physics interest with it.
 

russ_watters

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dinoguy said:
I think experimental hep labs should hire programmers, not physicists.
Do programmers know enough physics to be of value in such a job? I've heard complaints here that many programmers are just "code monkeys", who can write code, but can't make it actually do anything useful. If I learn French that doesn't automatically mean I'll be able to write the next Les Misarables
 

PeroK

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Btw, i know it's wrong to call myself as a physicist based on my bachelor's degree. Having a bachelor in physics is like a kindergartener to adulthood of PhD. What i planned before started working here was to have a research experience to apply study abroad in graduate level since my country's particle physics's not good. But working here and searching about even top institutes and what they're doing seem like experimental particle physics/hep is not what i'm looking for. I'm disappointed that this experience is also taking my theoretical physics interest with it.
I can't give you any specific advice as I've never worked in research. But, generally this is experience. None of us really knows what job or career suits us best. It's not the end of the world if you find that something you thought would be right for you is not.

It doesn't really matter whether others find HEP or programming or research interesting. It's only whether it's what you want to do.

That said jobs can be boring! Sometimes what you like doing and what someone is prepared to pay you to do are very different things. There was a Smiths song in the 80's that a friend of mine quoted all the time "I went looking for a job then I found a job and heaven knows I'm miserable now".

My only advice is to keep a broad perspective and don't be afraid to consider a change of direction.
 

symbolipoint

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From looking at my coworkers who have worked here several years seems that's not possible.
What is the point in keeping your job? Just to have a job? You studied for something you enjoy or found interesting and now that you have a job based on your education qualifications, the job you have is very unsatisfying. Then the point is what? You lost and must stay?
 

PeroK

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What is the point in keeping your job? Just to have a job? You studied for something you enjoy or found interesting and now that you have a job based on your education qualifications, the job you have is very unsatisfying. Then the point is what? You lost and must stay?
Maybe they pay him to do it? That's what kept me in my job.
 
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If you start your own research facility, you can be the boss.
 

symbolipoint

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Maybe they pay him to do it? That's what kept me in my job.
That affect many of us. The smarter thing to do is leave. The smartest thing to do is find another job and then leave.
 
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Most entry level jobs are pretty dull.

(Unless you work for me, of course.)
 
The real problem for me now is i don't know what i want to do next.
Is any other person who find HEP to be boring? What are you doing now? Can i change my career to earth science based on my physics background in grad school?
 

CrysPhys

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Can i change my career to earth science based on my physics background in grad school?
Before you go down this path, do you have a realistic (as opposed to a romanticized) vision of what career you will be pursuing after you've completed a grad degree (MS or PhD?) in earth science? Have you been in touch with earth scientists to find out what their daily routines are like? Will you be happy only if you are working on a grand scheme to reverse climate change to save mankind, or will you be content mapping the spread of contaminants in aquifers?
 

Vanadium 50

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do you have a realistic (as opposed to a romanticized) vision of what career you will be pursuing after you've completed a grad degree (MS or PhD?) in earth science?
This. After all, this is where you ran into trouble in HEP.
 
To be honest, i've never been in touch with earth scientists, and i understand this could be delusional feeling that might make run into trouble again , but one thing for sure, i wanna be a scientist.
Other than theoretical physics, i've many interests like paleontology, earth science, planetary science, and etc. Right now i don't know which direction i should go.
 
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Yea but those interests may not actually suggest you will enjoy working in the field. Reading about science isn't remotely like working in it.

Even liking scientific school work doesn't mean you'll enjoy working in it.
 

CrysPhys

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To be honest, i've never been in touch with earth scientists, and i understand this could be delusional feeling that might make run into trouble again , but one thing for sure, i wanna be a scientist.
Other than theoretical physics, i've many interests like paleontology, earth science, planetary science, and etc. Right now i don't know which direction i should go.
<<Emphasis added.>> How can you be sure you want to be a scientist, when you don't know what life as a scientist realistically entails? (Not as portrayed on TV, on movies, or in books; not what you envision from watching interviews with celebrity scientists.) The best advice I can give you at the moment is to hit the pause button, and find out what life as a scientist realistically entails. This is not an issue limited to experimental high-energy physics. E.g., I've known people who have completed a BS in computer science, dreaming of founding the next Microsoft, or inventing the Next Big Algorithm. Instead, they got jobs in a large corporation, writing line-after-line of mind-numbing code. They then quit, went to law school, and became patent attorneys, dreaming of working with brilliant inventors at the cutting edge of technology and writing patent applications on the Next Big Thing. Instead, they got jobs in a large law firm, writing line-after-line of mind-numbing responses to office actions.

Identify the careers that will make you happy, and find out the requirements for achieving those careers. But make sure those target careers are grounded in reality.
 
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StatGuy2000

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Most entry level jobs are pretty dull.

(Unless you work for me, of course.)
That's only true of entry level jobs at large organizations, where you are just a small cog in a large machine.

An entry level job at a small company or startup (more often than not) is not dull at all, as I can attest from personal experience. It can be a whole lot of things (pros: exciting, interesting, dynamic, etc.; cons: highly stressful, no work-life balance, etc.), but definitely not dull.
 

symbolipoint

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Notice some text I accentuated in this quote:
That's only true of entry level jobs at large organizations, where you are just a small cog in a large machine.

An entry level job at a small company or startup (more often than not) is not dull at all, as I can attest from personal experience. It can be a whole lot of things (pros: exciting, interesting, dynamic, etc.; cons: highly stressful, no work-life balance, etc.), but definitely not dull.
Experiences vary -- VERY MUCH CAN VARY!

I have had entry level work which was truly enjoyable, and other entry level work which was frustrating and depressing. Big company, work not always so bad; small company, possibly undesirable work to do more often than not - but situations and experience may vary.
 

StatGuy2000

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Notice some text I accentuated in this quote:

Experiences vary -- VERY MUCH CAN VARY!

I have had entry level work which was truly enjoyable, and other entry level work which was frustrating and depressing. Big company, work not always so bad; small company, possibly undesirable work to do more often than not - but situations and experience may vary.
We are probably more in agreement than you might assume from my post. I deliberately worded my response regarding small companies/startups in the way I did, so that readers of this thread will realize that working there will involve a whole sets of experiences/challenges, both positive and negative, that you will not experience in large companies.
 

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