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Bachelors in physics enough for nanotechnology

  1. Nov 19, 2008 #1
    I was wondering what undergraduate work one should complete if they wanted to go into this field. Would a bachelors in physics be good enough to pave the way for graduate work regarding this? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2008 #2
    Re: Nanotechnology

    Yes that should work just fine. There are several good universities like Rice and University of Washington that have nanotech programs you might want to transfer into.
  4. Nov 20, 2008 #3
    Re: Nanotechnology

    Well, I am not quite sure what I want to do yet. I have a list of four things which are all compelling: physics, astrophysics/astronomy, nanotechnology, computer engineering.
  5. Nov 23, 2008 #4
    Re: Nanotechnology

    It also depends on which aspect of nanotechnology you want to get into. For nano biosciences like chip-based bloodstream particle detectors, a background in biology wouldn't be bad.
  6. Nov 23, 2008 #5
    Re: Nanotechnology

    Yeah, I am not sure. That also makes sense regarding which aspect of nanotechnology I would want to go into. Can you suggest a book that takes readers through the different aspects and gives them a little bit of what aspect entails?
  7. Nov 24, 2008 #6
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  8. Nov 24, 2008 #7
    Re: Nanotechnology

    Well, I may have to put off getting that. I am on a tight budget at the moment and will be for some time. I am moving to Arizona from Kansas.
  9. Nov 24, 2008 #8
    Re: Nanotechnology

    For what it's worth, I've had a little experience in this field. I was mainly doing electron microscope work and this required much, much more physics than I probably would have guessed. In the case of high resolution transmission work (where the electrons go through the material), it takes a lot of knowledge about contrast mechanisms and materials to understand why things are bright/dark in an image. When I started a summer research position as an undergrad, there was quite a bit of catching up to do just to be able to talk to someone. On the other hand, there were outside people coming into the lab to get images of various things that were not at all concerned with why something was bright or dark, they just wanted the conclusions. Though they probably had their own steep learning curve, I'm not sure what it entailed. But either way, when you're working on those tiny size scales, bizarre things happen that are not quite intuitive. I would say that physics provides an excellent background and gives you the tools necessary to dig your claws in the subject. But be prepared for the revelation that working in the field is nothing like what you expected, whatever your expectations are. For some overview of a few things being done, my adviser's website is http://www.umsl.edu/~fraundorfp There are a lot of student projects and things he works on there and it will provide you with a glimpse of one possible avenue.
  10. Dec 4, 2008 #9
    Re: Nanotechnology

    I also want to go into nanotech. I will be starting college soon, and from all the info I have gathered thus far, it is heavily chemistry based, atleast for what I want to do, which is to use nanoscience for curing/fighting cancers and diseases. As for the engineering side, I also have interest in that, things like nanofabrication have always amazed me. So I am going for a double major in chemistry and materials science and engineering, or biochem and another form of engineering. I am still unsure on the best path for these plans. I will be frequently checking this thread to gain any advice people are willing to give as well. I wish us both luck =]
  11. Dec 5, 2008 #10
    Re: Nanotechnology

    which branch of chemistry, organic or inorganic or both
  12. Dec 5, 2008 #11
    Re: Nanotechnology

    Good question, never gave it much thought. I am not sure which one though, or if it is both.
  13. Dec 5, 2008 #12
    Re: Nanotechnology

    The more the better pretty much all of them. If you suck in Chemistry then you can forget about it because Nanotechnology is heavily influenced with a strong foundation in CHEM.
  14. Dec 6, 2008 #13
    Re: Nanotechnology

    Which major would be best for a future in nanotech? I know that an undergrad in biology, chem, or physics is good enough to get into grad school fr nanotech, but I want to know which major would really prepare you for a successful career in nanotech. Wouldn't chemistry and chemical engineering be the top ones? If so, which one would be better to major in?
  15. Dec 13, 2008 #14
    Re: Nanotechnology

    So, any nanotechs around here who would really give an insight :)
  16. Dec 14, 2008 #15
    Re: Nanotechnology

    On the "chemistry" question?

    It's not entirely like egregious1 said, it depends on what you're gonna do. Surface science for palladium catalyst baths (like I was working on briefly) doesn't really require much chemistry - we had a chemist tell us "we could really use a thin coat of palladium for our work" and then we set out to find out how to apply a thin (2Å) coat of palladium, which was really a lot more particle physics than it was chemistry.

    It really depends on what you mean when you say "nanotechnology," because that word just means "small technology." I mean, if you want to work for Novozymes optimizing the manufacture of insulin, a background in biology would probably help. If you want to work for NanoNord, well I gather they're more into the production aspects than the research, but to work for them, chemistry (both organic and un, but mostly organic) would be great.
  17. Dec 26, 2008 #16
    Re: Nanotechnology

    In the area of nanotechnology I study in most of the faculty have physics, applied physics or electrical engineering degrees (in order of decreasing prevalence)
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