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!

Do Physicists Have To Work From Big Cities?

  1. Jul 30, 2005 #1
    [SOLVED] Do Physicists Have To Work From Big Cities?

    Let us say you are fresh out of college with a PHD in physics, do you have to work in a city? When I get older I would have rather lived in a small town, but am I allowed to have a job from a small town and still make a good living? Or do you have to live in a bigger city to actually get a job in the physics feild?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2005 #2
    Just commute
     
  4. Jul 30, 2005 #3
    how many physics jobs do you think there are in the "small towns"? None.

    Most likely you'll have to commute.
     
  5. Jul 30, 2005 #4

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What about Livermoore? I drove by there and it didnt seem like there were more then 100,000 people living there! But then again it was just a drive through to get to Oakland...
     
  6. Jul 30, 2005 #5
    I doubt that. I live 'near' Oak Ridge and the UT space institute, and I practically live on a farm. I believe most major national labs are not inside major cities. And what about all the colleges that are rurally located, they don't count?
     
  7. Jul 30, 2005 #6
    some particle accelerators are located in remote areas. astronomical observatory too.
     
  8. Jul 30, 2005 #7
    Wasn't the OP some dude who wanted to go into politics, possibly on the national level?
     
  9. Jul 30, 2005 #8

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You could be a professor in a college or university, many of which are not in big cities. (What are your definitions of a "big" city and "small" town?)

    Here's a remote location (far from cities) http://icecube.wisc.edu/what_is_icecube/overview/index.shtml [Broken] :wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  10. Jul 30, 2005 #9

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yah but there may be only 2 or 3 starbucks there :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  11. Jul 31, 2005 #10

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There are 2 PhD phyicisits in the group I work with, and there are others on site I do not know, local population ~50K.



    What is you idea of a small town?
     
  12. Jul 31, 2005 #11

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

  13. Jul 31, 2005 #12
    My city is only ~50k people but we have a university so I'm assuming there's some physics PhDs. I consider it a pretty small city :smile:
     
  14. Jul 31, 2005 #13

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I have heard and read many strange questions about physicists (no, all of us do not work in making nuclear bombs), but I'd say this one is way up there in the degree of strangeness - and there's not even a quark involved.

    Zz.
     
  15. Aug 1, 2005 #14
    lol, prety small. I grew up in a town which would considered quite small. A population of about 15,000.

    There are actually theoretical physist I know in my town, but he has almost no name in the scientific community. I also assume that if there are any phsyics research centers that they won't be payed as much as someone who let's say works at UC Davis or UC Berkeley. Is this true? And if they are no centers or a small center are you allowed do your job by getting the order from the big center?

    For example if you work for the UC Davis physics team can you go there once, twice, or three times a week and get your work info or research info and work on it at home or some scientific center?
     
  16. Aug 1, 2005 #15

    matt grime

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    A lot of good State US universities are based in small towns, or have large campuses in small towns (the notable exceptions would be California and Washington, though I hear that RIverside is small and they have Jon Baez). PSU for instance is a good State Univeristy for physics that is in a tiny town (State College). Or do you mean non-academic?
     
  17. Aug 1, 2005 #16

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Have you been to Los Alamos? Do you know how isolated that place is? Even if you live in the surrounding area (not in Santa Fe), it is considered a REMOTE area, by any standard.....

    Unless, of course, you consider Los Alamos National lab as a "small center" that make insignificant contribution to science/physics.

    Want more? How "big" do you think Urbana, IL is? You drive by it and if you blink, you'll miss it. Yet, UIUC is a very renowned university with big-time research and big-time physicists. The same can be said about Cornell. Try getting to Ithaca NY.

    Zz.
     
  18. Aug 1, 2005 #17

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Silverback, if you want to be in a place with a population below 15,000 (for whatever reason), then you have choices ranging from the smaller university towns (Princeton, State College, etc.) to some of the national labs (LANL, Sandia, etc.). But even at Penn State, during the football season weekends, there will be over a 100,000 people in town. Think you can handle that ? :wink:
     
  19. Aug 2, 2005 #18
    The reason why I like to live in a small town is because I cannot live without nature. Well, I maybe could live without nature, the last few years I have been in a bigger city but once I start my private life after college I would rather live in for example a 100 acre land close to wildlife and nature. I was actually thinking of living close to Lake Tahoe or some place in Placer County and El Dorado County in California, but most town there are really small.

    I actually done mind 100,000 people, but it has to be isolated with forests and stuff surounding it. The problem is I don't know many places towns this big with no city right next to it.

    Do any of you know a high paying center in North Eastern California or Western Nevada? Especially if anyone knows any places in South Lake Tahoe (a large small town of about 21,000 I think).
     
  20. Aug 2, 2005 #19
    I checked Los Alamos looks interesting, though it is not my favorite climate. But definatley yea that is a very famous research center, didn't know it only had 18,000 though. Know any others in the West US?
     
  21. Aug 2, 2005 #20
    You could retire to a small town, during the summers I live in my home town which is now made up of 6 smaller towns, the the combined population is 4600, I'd say my town alone is about 1600-2000. Anyways, there is a super genius here that retired from NASA prematurely, he had multiple PHD's in physics, languages, politics, but he got too smart. Now he lives in a tiny house reclusive to the world and boards up all his rooms in the winter to save energy. He currently makes a living off tutoring math and physics, and scrimps together enough change to buy cheap carbon batteries sometimes to listen to his radio. Very interesting fellow to talk to, very very smart. But I don't think you want to revert to that lifestyle.
    Pointless story probably.
     
  22. Aug 3, 2005 #21

    matt grime

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    AS much as i find it odd to say, it sounds like PSU is the place for you: good university, small (practically dead outside of term), in the mountains, 200 miles from a city, from my balcony i could stare at the forests in three directions (the 4th direction was the campus and you can't see it through the building but beyond the campus are fields, lots of fields uninterrupted for miles, bloody cold when the wind comes in off it in winter), plenty of walks and good climbing. it is busy on game day but you can ignore that (if i, a european with no interest in the damn game of american football, can put up with it so can anyone).
     
  23. Aug 3, 2005 #22
    So there would be no way I can work for a major research for center outside the rsearch center? For example if I work for UC Davis and go there every week or two to get work from them. Do you have to work only in places the research centers are in?
     
  24. Aug 3, 2005 #23

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Y'know, aren't you putting the cart before the horse here in this thread? I mean, it appears as if that the decision to work there, and not there, etc. only falls on you. Aren't you forgetting another important (and I'd say a MORE important) part, which is what makes you think that THEY would want you in the first place? Is it THAT easy to get an appointment at Los Alamos? Or at Sandia? What about at JILA?

    We're talking about places here that get to pick the cream of the crop, and not just people from within the US, but all over the world. I've seen people pull up roots because they get a job offer at some of these places.

    Zz.
     
  25. Aug 4, 2005 #24
    Never said it was that easy. But I know I can definatley do it if I work at it.

    Now that you bring it up what would you need to work in a top research center such as Los Alamos? I am think a PHD from a high ranking university such as Davis, Stanford, or IV League to get a job. What are the main requirments?


    But about my original question (which was more of an example) can I work for a resarch center outside the research center by getting work from them and coming once or twice a week?
     
  26. Aug 4, 2005 #25

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Isn't this more dependent on the NATURE of the job? I'm employed at Argonne to not only do physics, but actually BUILD something. I think it would be impracticle to do my task of building something by just coming in once or twice a week, don't you? Do you think I would have been employed to do just that under that circumstance? I don't think so.

    So unless you're willing to be SPECIFIC, I'd say your question cannot be answered.

    BTW, getting an employment in anything at any place depends on not just ability, but being at the right place and the right time. You could have all the talent and ability that you want, but if the opportunity isn't there just at the right time, you won't get what you want either. Most of us who went through this (and life) have realized a long time ago that things seldom work out in the ways we planned.

    Zz.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2005
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook