Help me decide: physics or chemistry?

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  • Thread starter approximatelysphere
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  • #36
Congratulations on coming to a decision OP and best of luck for your studies.

My advice is that it's never too early to get involved in research and I would encourage you to look into what opportunities may exist early on. Make sure you apply for summer research opportunities like NSERC USRA, and the IPP Summer Fellowship, or at the various national labs like TRIUMF and SNOLAB. You can also approach professors directly to see if they would allow you to volunteer in their labs. I would also look to see if there are any student societies you could join. Above all else though, don't forget to have fun.
 
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  • #37
I've been there (I'm retired now). I would choose physics. Chemistry is actually physics, when you get right down to it.

With a physics degree, you can actually get employment in engineering, as I did. A coworker who actually got his PhD in physics decided he wanted to go into medicine, and now he's an MD researcher, using his physics background to study epilepsy at the Mayo Clinic.

Chemistry may narrow your choices. If you're really ambitious, you can major in physics with a minor in chemistry.

There are branches of physics that overlap with chemistry, like chemical physics and solid state physics. Even electronics.

Study your passion. If you're good at math anyway, college math won't be a problem. Just be sure you get your math classes before the physics classes that need the math. I was taking physics classes that involved math that I hadn't yet had in my math classes, and to this day I consider that a grave mistake and I came out worse than I should have, but that's how the classes were arranged at that university.
 
  • #38
Anachronist said:
Chemistry may narrow your choices. If you're really ambitious, you can major in physics with a minor in chemistry.

There are branches of physics that overlap with chemistry, like chemical physics and solid state physics. Even electronics.
Sometimes a person may earn a degree in one science with a minor concentration in another science field; when finding actual employment, person may fill a position as "scientist". I am unsure how common this is.
 

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