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Black holes and mechanical engineers

  1. Mar 23, 2015 #1
    Hello geeks!

    I've reached that point in life, where I've to decide on what to study. The thing is, that I simply love the wonders and extremes of our universe, such as neutron stars, black holes etc. But the thing is, if you don't wanna give lectures in a university or do research in black holes after you're done studying, there isn't much that you can use your knowledge of black holes to. But i think mechanical engineering is interesting too!

    So the big questions is: can you somehow combine mechanical engineering with black holes (or astrophysics in general)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2015 #2


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    If you were to design or help build satellites, telescopes, and space probes, that sounds like the best of both worlds.
  4. Mar 25, 2015 #3
    As a mechanical engineer, I'm going to say no with a caveat. Usually, mechanical engineering deals with all the practicalities of building functional machines. We worry a lot about all the problems that physicists usually "idealize away", like friction, air resistance, etc. We spend a lot of time designing for things humans encounter on a regular basis. Astrophysicists deal with a realm that humans at present can't study in depth empirically or even visit. AFAIK, astrophysics is more about how the macro-universe works and its past, present, and future. The only way I can see an intersection of those fields (the caveat) is designing mechanisms for astrophysics data collection, such as LIGO or other data collection devices, such as space exploration vehicles.

    However, that's not to say that you can't study both to a degree. If you're an astrophysicist that wants to dabble in engineering, or an engineer that dabbles in astrophysics, that should be fine. The question you need to ask yourself is what you want to wake up every day and do.
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