Choosing Physics or Electrical Engineering

In summary: I absolutely agree. There is a very large overlap in the undergraduate requirements I would be more interested in what that choice will mean in the near term for you. What you will be required to study and what subjects will be available as electives? What is the quality of the instruction? Are there opportunities for meaningful research and collaboration/internships. Talk to people (students and faculty) ...You are not alone! Feynman tried out his muscles in electrical engineering for a while before he jumped into physics. Dirac studied electrical engineering but switched to physics. There must be more...
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Hello,

I'm trying to decide between physics and electrical engineering. I like building electrical stuff, and I like solving physics problems, but my main goal is to try to build power systems that integrate things like what can be found in this paper https://arxiv.org/abs/1401.0520. I would major in EE, but I'm afraid that I won't be able to get the background to use that type of advanced physics in what I build I don't want to EE if it will take so much time that I'll never have time to try to build stuff that uses advanced materials and BOE's. I don't want to do physics if I'll never get to build things other than probing experiments.
 
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  • #2
Welcome to PF. :smile:

Can you say how that paper may relate to building power systems? Thanks.
 
  • #3
berkeman said:
Welcome to PF. :smile:

Can you say how that paper may relate to building power systems? Thanks.
I want to try to work on storing light as light. That paper is just one of the things i was trying to understand. I know it's hard because the light travels quickly and rapidly loses energy to heat. I've been looking at papers related to light trapping, but it's hard to understand them without the quantum and statistical mechanics background. The thing is though that I want to try to build stuff, too, and I'm afraid the physics degree, which would help me understand these papers, would make it harder to move into building stuff.
 
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  • #4
You might consider studying Lasers. In many ways they sit on the boundary between those two subjects, particularly in industry.

However, I'm a little confused about the "choosing" part of your question. My advice is to study what interests you, there can be quite a bit of overlap in these subjects. I don't believe which you choose for your major will matter much as you move on, it's what you studied and know that counts more.
 
  • #5
DaveE said:
I don't believe which you choose for your major will matter much as you move on, it's what you studied and know that counts more.
I absolutely agree. There is a very large overlap in the undergraduate requirements I would be more interested in what that choice will mean in the near term for you. What you will be required to study and what subjects will be available as electives? What is the quality of of the instruction? Are there opportunities for meaningful research and collaboration/internships. Talk to people (students and faculty) ...
 
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  • #6
You are not alone! Feynman tried out his muscles in electrical engineering for a while before he jumped into physics. Dirac studied electrical engineering but switched to physics. There must be more...
 
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