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Physics Degree in Nuclear Physics

  1. Aug 8, 2009 #1
    I plan on getting a degree in Nuclear Physics at FSU. I NEED a new laptop this year, and I don't plan on buying another one for a couple of years. I plan on getting the 13" MacBook Pro, though I don't know if it will be good enough for a degree. Like, is there any graphically or performance intense programs that you need to use for your bachelors? I plan on going for my doctorate in Nuclear Physics, though I think after my B.S. my computer will be "out dated". Please help me so I can choose the best computer because I don't want an under powered computer, or spend to much for an over powered one.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2009 #2
    Try moving your post to Academic Guidance under Science Education. I made the same mistake;)
     
  4. Aug 10, 2009 #3
    In my experience as a nuclear physics MSc student, any intense computational stuff can be done on a computer in the lab/office, so in terms of raw computing power there is no need to spend too much. There are two things you may want to keep in mind:

    1. You'll probably want to run a linux distribution (most/all of the programs I use in my analysis run on linux). Its easy enough to dual boot a PC, but I've never used a Mac so I'm not sure if its difficult or not. Something to look into I guess.

    2. You may want a larger screen. There are a number of tasks in nuclear physics that are way easier to do on larger screens. For example, you may be fitting a spectrum and trying to decide whether a peak is present in a section of background or not. For the work I do, I use two external screens which are about 50cm x 35cm. Thats probably excessive for most, but a screen larger than 13' would definitely be a good idea.

    Hope that helps
     
  5. Aug 11, 2009 #4
    In terms of the MacBook Pro, I just got the 17" and love it. It's got a high definition display and graphically speaking it comes with two video cards, one for conserving battery and the other for high end graphics. Also, Mac comes with a program called boot camp on it, so it's extremely easy to run Windows or Linux on a Mac. Lastly, with a standard 4GB of RAM, it's super quick. Good Luck!

    EDIT: If you're concerned about price, look at the Apple Refurbished site. It comes with a good warranty and will save you anywhere from $50 to a significant $700 depending on what you get!
     
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