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Career -- ENG + Phy

  1. Sep 9, 2015 #1
    I m 14 and i want to become at theoritical physicst when i grow up bt my parents want me to become an eng .Is there a way that i can become a physics guy after doing B Tech
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2015 #2


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    Welcome to the forum.

    Age 14 is roughly the first year of high school, or equivalent in your country. So you have about 4 years before you start university.

    The nice thing is, preparing for physics at this stage is very similar to preparing for engineering. You would do very much the same thing no matter which you eventually decide on.

    A bachelor of science engineering degree is not necessarily a bad thing to go on to grad school in physics. You would need to adjust the classes you took. Theoretical physics is very heavy on the mathematics. And you would want to emphasize the parts of your degree that corresponded with the kind of physics you eventually want to work in. My PhD supervisor took Engineering Science at University of Toronto for his undergrad. Then he did particle physics for his PhD.

    On the other hand, it is probably easier (if that is the right word) to go from physics undergrad to physics grad work. A physics degree is good for many of the same jobs that an engineering degree is. So your parents may be nearly as happy with you if you get into a good school for physics. In fact, a really good school for physics is better than an average school for engineering. Though it is harder to get in to the really good schools, and often the fees are higher.

    What you want to do between now and then is learn as much math and science as you can. How you do that depends on the resources that are available to you.

    You want to try to stretch your ability. For example, you want to try to get to calculus and algebra as soon as you can. Also you want to do things like geometry and related things. Are there any clubs like a model rocket club in your school? It can teach you a lot to build and launch a rocket. These days you can put something like a GoPro camera on a rocket, and for a price that is not impossible. Maybe an electronics club? Or maybe there is something like this at the local college?

    One thing that motivated me during my high school days was studying for "prize exams." There was a physics prize exam called "The Sir Isaac Newton Exam" run by University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. That one got me a scholarship that helped me get through undergrad. There was the Canadian Association of Physics exam. There was a math exam run my the American Math society. I still have a little tie pin from that one for finishing in the top 100 in Canada. There was a chemistry exam. Talk to the guidance folks in your school and see if there are not similar exams for you. If you can get copies of old versions of these exams and study the material required to understand those questions it can be very useful. If you can ace one of these exams you might get a nice scholarship prize to help you with your university expenses. And "winner of so-and-so exam" opens some doors for you with professors.
  4. Sep 10, 2015 #3
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