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Condensed matter physicist advice ?

  1. Nov 18, 2008 #1
    Although I'm not going into physics for a love of money/easy money, I still want a decent amount to live comfortably. 80-90k+ is alright with me, and condensed matter is pretty interesting, practical, and very helpful.

    I'm curious as to how much they earn on average/median in a year. Does a successful one require a Ph.D? If not, how does job availability and income jump with a Ph.D in hand? I will at least get a Masters.

    A job description in your own words too would be nice. I searched around so far, and they seem a bit like engineers to me (sorry if they're not, I'm still new to it).

    Any advice you can give would be appreciated :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2008 #2

    Dr Transport

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    Condensed matter physics is a broad field, too broad to list right here. What specifically interests you in condensed matter, semiconductors, magnetic materials, opto-electronic phenomenon etc......
  4. Nov 18, 2008 #3
    As I said, I'm quite new to the field, but developing/creating useful materials with physical principles for the world to use interests me. I guess (off of Wikipedia, yeah my knowledge of CM is pretty limited) magnetic materials, nanotechnology, and soft condensed matter are right down my alley.
  5. Nov 19, 2008 #4
    The materials industry is huge. If you got knowledge how to build a material after specs, you will at least have a job. And money will come to you (like in the range you specified) if you work at it.
  6. Nov 19, 2008 #5
    Thanks for that guys, but I need a bit more depth...

    Like what are some courses that I should take? Is there just a condensed matter degree or does it branch into specialties (not the job, but the degree itself)? What is a major branch in CMP that many specialize in (job)?

    I'd really like more advice than this -.-
  7. Nov 19, 2008 #6

    Dr Transport

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    I'd take a solid state physics course (Kittel or Ashcroft & Mermin) then you can get into more specialized courses like the Quantum Theory of Solids, Many-Body Physics etc.......

    The basic course should introduce you into the broader areas of condensed matter physics, out of that you can get an appreciation about where you might be interested in going from there.
  8. Nov 20, 2008 #7
    I don't usually see separate condensed matter degrees; they're physics Masters or PhD's, just you do your research in condensed matter. What area of condensed matter you go to work in will be determined largely by your research choice.

    If I were in your shoes I'd pick semiconductor technology, magnetic information systems (or at least a concentration in something related to spin, spin tunneling, etc), or organic electronics. I'm sure there are lots of other very good choices.
  9. Nov 20, 2008 #8
    Elbobo: It wouldn't hurt if you told us something about your university and put something on the table that we could discuss.

    But, I think you should go into some theory/modelling/materials physics-speciality if you like CMP. Does your designated educational facility have something like that?
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