Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Do I go Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering?

  1. Aug 22, 2008 #1
    Do I go Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering????

    Boy, do I need some insight if any are willing and serious. I'm a 34 y.o. married nurse(assoc degree), wife, and mom who has been seriously considering a career change for the past year. I want to figure out how things work to help our environment. I love learning about solar, wind, hydropower energy, geothermal energy. I'm not, however, good at tinkering and building things. I live near the steel mills where alot of coal-burning takes place. Where do I start??? Thanks!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2008 #2
    Re: Do I go Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering????

    You can get a 4-year degree in engineering or science or try a technical school where you can train to be a technician.

    Not good at tinkering? If you can imagine it you can do it.
  4. Aug 22, 2008 #3
    Re: Do I go Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering????

    That right there says I love engineering but I might not be good at it.

    Physics will teach you the fundamentals of nature. That is, you will really understand that energy is merely a mathematical concept we devised to understand motion. This, and other fundamental facts, will be derived and discussed.

    The other two are more "applied sciences". That is, they apply physical laws to understand different things. Chemistry is the study of matter and how it reacts. It is a very broad science that deals with things like plastics, materials, and medicine. Chemistry won't deal with different kinds of energy used in power plants per se, but you will get a detailed treatment of coal-burning (and other combustion reactions) as well as pollution.

    Engineering will probably discuss these things in depth, as they are the ones building our plants. They will only gloss over the theory, but you will have enough knowledge to understand how these plants function.
  5. Aug 23, 2008 #4
    Re: Do I go Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering????

    Yes, I would definitely go with engineering. These 3 subjects, of course, are all related. But if you go the engineering route, you will definitely encounter general physics and general chemistry.

    You might consider also: MATERIALS SCIENCE. This is yet another branch of the science tree; and I think a very cool subject.
  6. Aug 23, 2008 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Re: Do I go Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering????

    Are you math proficient?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook