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How busy are physicists?

  1. Apr 18, 2014 #1
    Hi, this is weird but I honestly love to be busy and a lot of work to do and I was hoping for a job that doesn't just end at the workplace and I feel like physics is a good fit but I just want to ask. I know physicists are passionate about their work just as I am even though I'm only a high schooler I love questioning and thinking scientifically and putting a lot of work in to find answers. I just wanted to know do physicists have those sleepless nights doing research, whole days spent in the lab and a lot of time put into their work at times because I feel like those help you appreciate your work much more and allow you to become more passionate. Now I know this won't be everyday and I don't want that but exactly how busy are physicists when doing research?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2014 #2


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    I think it depends a lot from institution to institution and from individual to individual. I work at a National Lab and the physicists I know and work with are really hard workers. They don't stay late every night but they spend plenty of nights and weekends on the job.
  4. Apr 18, 2014 #3
    Given how competitive physics is (there are way more people who want jobs than there are jobs), I'd be surprised if there are physicists anywhere who aren't routinely putting in nights and weekends.
  5. Apr 19, 2014 #4
    Yeah I don't know many physicists who don't work way more than 9-5. There are some that are time-management ninjas and can pull it off, but most do not.

    Generally this is not considered an up-side of the job, but if you are super into that, well, then good for you, it will probably help you a lot.
  6. Apr 19, 2014 #5
    I encountered a handful of physicists who were tenured, had been studying the same minutia for decades, and really didn't do much of anything. That's a choice though, they could have changed everything had they wanted.
  7. Apr 19, 2014 #6
    It seems strange to want to be REQUIRED to work more. You can always GIVE yourself more work, whether or not your job asks it of you. I'm currently only semi-employed, yet I sometimes work 10-13 hour days on my own projects (the main thing being studying for actuarial exams).
  8. Apr 19, 2014 #7
    I see. Thanks and I know it's pretty weird
  9. Apr 20, 2014 #8
    Glad to see there is some work moral left in this country. I lift my hat to you Sir.
  10. Apr 20, 2014 #9
    Thanks. I figured the best way to make a name for myself is work hard
  11. Apr 20, 2014 #10


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    My advice, is try not to overdo this hard work...
    Life has other interesting things beside perfecting the notion of harmonic oscillator, as Sidney Coleman put it.
  12. Apr 20, 2014 #11
    Very true. I know that thank you
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