1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook