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Cosmology or Theoretical Physics for job?

  1. Mar 13, 2010 #1
    ¿Cosmology or Theoretical Physics?

    I have a dilemma. I have an offer for Cosmology and I have an offer for Theoretical Physics. I'm ofcourse aware of both fields, but I would like to know from you what their main differences are.

    Thank you!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2010 #2
    Re: ¿Cosmology or Theoretical Physics?

    Are these masters programmes or...? If this is a decision you need to make now, then you should really be at the level where you know know what the 'difference' is: they aren't even comparable in the way in which you're asking.

    Theoretical physics isn't a subject, cosmology is. Loosly, theoretical physics is a term used to describe an approach - describing phenomena through theory. Experimental physics is the alternative - making measurements that can be used to test theory.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoretical_physics

    Cosmology is a specific area of study within astronomy which deals with the universe on a large scale.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_cosmology

    Didn't you look to see what the programmes involved before applying to them?
     
  4. Mar 14, 2010 #3
    Re: ¿Cosmology or Theoretical Physics?

    I though there was more to it than what is obvious. Thanks.
     
  5. Mar 14, 2010 #4
    Re: ¿Cosmology or Theoretical Physics?

    Can't you be a theoretical cosmologist?
     
  6. Mar 14, 2010 #5
    Re: ¿Cosmology or Theoretical Physics?


    I was just checking the wikipedia links above and I saw some link for theoretical Cosmology. There is a field called "Brane Cosmology", pretty attractive. This is why I though that perhaps Cosmology and theoretical physcs would become indistinguishable at a certain point.

    I'm really happy to enter into theoretical physics, I just hope I'm up to the expectations.
     
  7. Mar 14, 2010 #6
    Re: ¿Cosmology or Theoretical Physics?

    I've always thought cosmology is just a branch of physics in Theoretical Physics
     
  8. Mar 15, 2010 #7
    Re: ¿Cosmology or Theoretical Physics?

    There IS actually an experimental cosmology and a theoretical cosmology. Experimental cosmology would be data gathering of astrophysical data using powerful equipment.

    Theoretical cosmology is the equations behind it.
     
  9. Mar 16, 2010 #8
    Re: ¿Cosmology or Theoretical Physics?

    I'm hoping to clean this thread up so as to not confuse any inexperienced people who might be visiting this forum.

    The point I made was that just because cosmology can be theoretical, it doesn't mean theoretical physics is cosmology. Theoretical physics is not a 'field'.

    Theory is not specific to any branches of physics. Theory is a particular approach you're taking to describe the physics.

    Cosmology is a specific branch of physics. You can be a theoretical cosmologist, just the same as you can be a theoretical solid state physicist. Like I said, physics is theoretical or experimental. Every specific subject in physics fits in to one, or both, of these classes. Think of them as umbrella terms. Within these classes are the hundreds of different subjects.

    The two will never be indistinguishable - you cannot study 'theoretical physics', unless you take it to mean everything that is theoretical in physics (which would, literally, be impossible to 'study') then it isn't a subject.

    You confusion may have come from the fact that describing oneself as a theoretical physicist is perhaps a bit of a misnomer, since 'theoretical physicist' misses the actual subject one is working on.
     
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