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Going for a physics degree

  1. Oct 26, 2004 #1
    I'd like to hear from anyone who has done it. I think I'll try for a Bsc in applied physics. Did you find it tough? Any regrets?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2004 #2
    Is it too much to ask for one reply?
  4. Oct 27, 2004 #3

    jimmy p

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    Lol, I dont think there are many of us Brits have finished a BSc in physics. I certainly havent... seeing as I'm not in Uni. But then, I'll go through the OU.
  5. Oct 27, 2004 #4


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    It may be wiser to do Engineering in College (taking as many Physics courses as possible). If, at the end of that, you find your heart is still with physics, then you can always go to Grad school for that !
  6. Oct 27, 2004 #5
    Not sure I can comment cos I'm only in the second year of my MSci! Plus it's in Applied Maths and Physics. Physics itself is okay, but I suppose it all depends on what uni you attend. It seems to be the case at my uni that you either love it or hate it (my opinion of it changes daily)- a substantial number of people switched to do Maths after level one because they were so fed up with Physics.
  7. Oct 27, 2004 #6
    I have no complaints with my program, but its Physics, not applied physics. If you're going to do application you may as well go with engineering, unless you want to do research, in which case stick with physics. It all depends on where you think you're headed.
  8. Oct 27, 2004 #7
    Thanks for your replies. I already know exactly what I want to do. I want a physics not an engineering degree. And another term for "applied" physics is experimental physics. I'll be going to the University of Toronto, and I really don't want to spend more than 4 years there. It would be more to acquire knowledge than get the degree.
  9. Oct 27, 2004 #8


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    If it is to require knowledge, then why did you ask?

    Who cares if its tough. You are there to learn because you love to learn. If you fail, try again.

    Its funny because it will take you longer than 4 years.
  10. Oct 27, 2004 #9
    Why do you say that?
  11. Oct 28, 2004 #10


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    You'll figure that out when you are in 2nd/3rd year.
  12. Oct 28, 2004 #11
    I realized that now in my third year of Math/Computer Science.
  13. Oct 28, 2004 #12


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    People don't realize that this normal. Especially in a field related to science and math.

    That's why when you see scientists they are old. It took ~12 years to get a degree. :biggrin:
  14. Oct 28, 2004 #13
    Heh sounds like what will happen to me. I finally determined UofT's Physics Specialist program is what I want... unlike other programs where you have major/minor or major/major this is just a pure focus on physics.

    Thing is...I'd like to develop my mathematical ability well enough before I begin. Taking 2 years off of full time studies to work fulltime and learn more math before I go (try and knock off some of the credits through correspondence or part-time). That puts me at age 25 in Fall 2007 when I will (hopefully) be starting in that program :eek:
  15. Oct 28, 2004 #14
    Plum, if you like to learn there is no reason for you not to major in applied physics. I am in my 3rd year of applied physics at purdue and I probably have at least 2 more years; but thats mainly from taking extra classes that interest me and leaving time to do research.

    Its possible to do it in 4 years but you will end up very pale and addicted to caffiene.
  16. Oct 28, 2004 #15


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    singleton, don't take 2 years off.

    You may read through a university math textbook, but there is no way you got everything.

    I don't recommend taking 2 years off. The most I would take is one term.

    I can't imagine taking 2 years off! WOW! I wish I could.
  17. Oct 28, 2004 #16
    Well when I say two years off it is deceptive because I'd be busy working and doing part-time studies. I've not started my studies yet so it is more like delaying them :biggrin:

    I would prefer to go in Fall 2005 myself. If I set myself up financially it will be for the better, of course :)

    As for what you can learn from books--given enough resources (not just one book but several) over that time period I think I should be okay for introductory and foundation purposes. I find it much easier to learn from texts than in lectures (something I've noticed from HS through my years at college). Certain difficult topics notwithstanding of course; I would seek the help of some experienced individuals if needed.
  18. Oct 28, 2004 #17


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    Very true and I must agree that learning through a text is easier or feels like it anyways. Reading two texts at the same time is unbeatable.

    Although I have met no one yet, it is important to discuss math with other students. I talk to people about math, but no seems interested on knowing more than what is taught in class.

    If you pose them to a challenge to prove cosx is continuous, they automatically reject the challenge as it has nothing to do with the course. I understand why they don't care, and that is because they don't plan on becoming math majors. I have met one or two math majors, but one of them never shows. The others are math majors to become math teachers, which is a totally different thing. They shouldn't even call themselves math majors.

    I was thinking of starting a math or physics club, but so far that seems impossible because you need 10 people. One or two people is a breeze, but to get 10! WOW!

    I even talked to other people and by the time I am in 3rd/4th year there will be only 5 or less students in my classes. That's great in my opinion, but if only 5 or less people are in the classes then that means there are no more than 10 people that actually in my program and in the same year. (Assuming ~5 drop out) If you think about it, 10 people in a group of like 500 people. That is if there is 10 because for awhile there they had no one in those classes. :eek:

    Let's hope for the best anyways.

    Note: The bright side is that the library has tons of books!
  19. Oct 28, 2004 #18
    The good thing about that is I can take other classes during the end that I would like to take.
  20. Oct 28, 2004 #19


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    Why not take them now and spread out time consuming courses?

    I got transfer credits, so I'm lucky. I can take a smaller load and not fall behind.
  21. Oct 29, 2004 #20
    I imagine it would be much easier to start a physics club, since there is more of a social context to physics. (and at a higher level, there's even room for debate).
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