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Engineering Engineering versus physics

  1. Dec 30, 2009 #1
    From my understanding, engineering and physics are closely knit together. So I figured I would go into Electrical engineering because my love of tinkering with electrical devices, though I also have found my self beginning to like the looks of quantum physics. Now I know all physicists are very diverse in all types of physics and quantum physics have a large role in things. But I am wondering if electrical engineers would be using quantum physics as well?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2009 #2
    Unless you're the next Feynmann or Einstein, think again before going into physics. There is not much you can do with an undergraduate degree in physics, you would have to aim for Phd. degree.

    What you can do is complete an engineering undergraduate degree and then you could apply to graduate school and give your shot for doctorate.
  4. Dec 30, 2009 #3
    I don't agree with your first statement, at all.

    Yes, you probably won't be the next "nobel prize super researcher" with a bachelors, but you can easily make what an engineer makes just with the bs in physics. Poke around google searching for annual salaries for people with bachelors only, you might be surprised.

    Not that this has anything to do with the threadstarters question.
  5. Dec 30, 2009 #4
    It is not really about money at all, honestly I could care less about money. All I want is the knowledge needed to build and research electrical devices and electricity itself. All money would do for me is basic living and expanding my research so I am sure either of the degrees salary will be satisfactory since I aspire to get my phd Just not sure which of the two fields will open my doors to interesting careers in electrical research (engineering major vs physics major) I have found college programs for both in an undergrad degree which would continue onto my graduate degrees. So I ask again which would be the best for innovative research?
  6. Dec 30, 2009 #5


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    Engineering is essentially applied physics. Electrical engineering, especially if one becomes involved with micro-electronics, is more attuned to quantum mechanics/physics than say civil or mechanical engineering.

    See IEEE's Journal of Quantum Electronics

    Refer to this for different divisions in IEEE - http://www.ieee.org/web/membership/societies/index.html

    Of interest might be IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS)

    IEEE Photonics Society (formerly LEOS)

    IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society (SSCS)

    Career and Employment Resources

    One can look at Physics or Engineering Physics programs in parallel with EE.

    To do research, particularly leadership role or with more autonomy, one usually needs an MS or PhD/DSc.
  7. Dec 30, 2009 #6
    Thank you, that was very helpful and I appreciate all the links
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