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Can I call myself a physicist yet?

  1. Jun 9, 2009 #1
    I have my BS in Physics with a chem minor. I've done two years of gradschool at UAH. I'll be back to classes in the fall at UAB Huntsville. At Auburn, I was awarded TA of the year from the dept. So how about it? Can I call myself a physicist?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2009 #2
    You can call yourself modest.

    Sarcasm aside, do you do physics for a living?
     
  4. Jun 9, 2009 #3

    Pengwuino

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    Someone told me you can only call yourself a physicist when you have your PHD. Then of course there's a professor of mine who said we could call ourselves physicists when we were taking upper division physics courses. Who knows. If you're still in school, you're a student, that's for sure. If you're unemployed, you're a bum. If you work as a physicist, I guess you shoudl call yourself a physicist!
     
  5. Jun 9, 2009 #4
    You should not even be allowed into a physics classroom, let alone calling yourself a physicist.
     
  6. Jun 9, 2009 #5

    Pengwuino

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    I hate you.

    That professor also said to get a PHD so you can say 'Dr.' when you're making a table reservation at a restaurant. It sounds very cool.
     
  7. Jun 9, 2009 #6
    Under this definition, I'm a bum. However bum and physicist and not orthogonal.
     
  8. Jun 9, 2009 #7
    If I had a PhD, I'd tell people to call me Cyrus. The title isnt to impress people working at restaurants.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2009
  9. Jun 9, 2009 #8

    Chi Meson

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    You said "orthogonal."

    You physicist, you.
     
  10. Jun 9, 2009 #9
    ok.. I think I'm a physiscist
     
  11. Jun 9, 2009 #10

    drizzle

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    yeah, I don't know.. my prophessors and colleagues think I'm way good at physics, but seriously I'll give myself 80% [though, I used to be on top of my class], right now I'm a research assistant, and applying for a job at my local university [teaching assistant], I’m expecting to start after summer, but I wouldn’t call myself a physicist unless I invent something really rocks the world…high expectations :biggrin:
     
  12. Jun 9, 2009 #11
    It's spelled professors. Why would you go from an RA to a TA? That's a step down, not up.
     
  13. Jun 9, 2009 #12

    drizzle

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    thanks for the correction, I don’t know how things work where you live, but here I have to go though all steps if I want to major in physics as an assisted professor, you see I didn’t teach after graduation, but I start my master study after 2 yrs [thanks to my GPA and professors recommendations] while I’m still studying master my advisor took me on as a research assistant [that’s temporarily on a couple of researches], got it!
     
  14. Jun 9, 2009 #13
    What is an 'assisted professor': are you trying to become a professor? I think I understand about 60% of what you write.
     
  15. Jun 9, 2009 #14

    drizzle

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    that's enough for you:wink: you can't handle more than that!
     
  16. Jun 9, 2009 #15
    FYI: I generally don't like it when people I don't know post responses to me as if I were a close buddy. I don't know you that well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  17. Jun 9, 2009 #16

    drizzle

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    lick your elbow! * you are way far from being a close buddy






    * [just in case you asks cause I don’t wanna post replies again] it’s a saying I learned, it means if you could lick your elbow then what you think is possible, but it isn't
     
  18. Jun 9, 2009 #17
    I have my Ph.D. in physics and my job title contains the word "physics", but I still cringe when my husband says I'm a physicist. I just teach physics at a university. I guess I'd only think of myself as a physicist if I was employed at a national lab and was classified as a full time research physicist under some gs grade... or something similar. Since that's not the case, I think I'd be doing hack job if one thought of me as a "physicist".
     
  19. Jun 9, 2009 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    It depends entirely how you look at it. The first definition in Websters is "a specialist in physics". In a room full of post-docs doing fundamental research, "specialist" means one thing, but for the average person, including the majority of working non-scientific professionals, it means something else entirely.

    When I finished college with a BS in Physics, I began doing industrial designs that required that I have general liability and professional errors and omissions insurance. Some kind of title was required for me that was representitive but not misleading. "Graduate Physicist" was finally the language chosen.
     
  20. Jun 9, 2009 #19
    "Design Engineer"

    Anyways, it doesn't matter because I think the thread is self serving and pointless. Why not just make a thread that says I got an award as being a TA, everyone clap for me. I honestly see no other point to this thread than that.
     
  21. Jun 9, 2009 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    I studied physics, not engineering. They knew what I was doing.
     
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