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Physics How to go about pursuing career in theoretical physics

  1. Nov 11, 2016 #1
    I am a year 1 University Physics student and am interested in pursuing a career (if i make the cut) in theoretical physics (in particle physics/cosmology). The thing is, I know precious little about this field (but enough to get the brain juices flowing) hence the following queries:

    a) What is the roadmap going to be like? i.e what sort of Masters and PhD education should I be looking at?

    b) What Universities have courses in relation to these post-grad studies?

    c) What sort of stuff should I really be paying attention to in school?

    d) What would be part of a theoretical physicist's day to day life?

    e) What are the minimum academic results I'm supposed to achieve? (UK grading system in my country)

    e) What's the pay? Will I make enough to get new Liverpool kits every season?

    Thanks to those who took their time out to answer my questions :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2016 #2


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  4. Nov 11, 2016 #3
    Work very hard in your physics and math courses for a couple of years. Once you have worked so hard you have earned the deep respect and admiration of several local faculty, go to them with your query and ask what courses you should choose at your school to best prepare you for your goals.

    Pay? Am I supposed to get paid?
  5. Nov 11, 2016 #4
    If there's enough change in the pocket after paying the bills it would be foolish not to want them!

    Thanks a lot for the advice chaps :)

    P.S. What's the job scope of a theoretical physicist? Is the perception that they are people who work on equations and try to extrapolate meanings from solutions or lack thereof an accurate one? Do they also dabble in experimental physics from time to time?
  6. Nov 11, 2016 #5
    Most theoretical physicists are employed by universities. The scope of their jobs is usually to teach a number of assigned classes, write research grants to obtain funding for their theoretical work, and carry out and publish that work in peer reviewed physics journals.

    It is more common for experimentalists to dabble in theory than vice-versa.

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