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I am BSc in Physics graduates 3 years ago - lose my knowledge

  1. Oct 11, 2013 #1
    I am BSc Physics graduates 3 years ago . After graduation I went into a totally different field "Accounting". (allow me to skip the reason here)

    I am so regret now. My passion is still in science and I want to return to the world of physics and hope to be a researcher or any professions in physics one day. I am going to take a MSc in Physics and hope to get into Mphil and Phd later.

    But now my problem is....... My physics sense is gone, my mathematics sense is gone... the memories are so loose and rusty. I feel so sad that like I have betrayed my beloved one. I really really hope I could pick up my undergraduate knowledge once again to prepare for my MSc. but I don't know how to do and where to start would it be effective and efficient.

    Back into the old days, I can handle 3 digits * 3 digits arithmetic mentally, but now I can't even handle 2 digits + 2 digts smoothly but with that Accountant Calculator. Oooops....

    Please advice me how to do.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2013 #2


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    It all goes so quickly! I had the same idea as you, to switch from business back to physics - except I waited twenty years!

    I started by re-learning calculus from my old text book, re-read my old physics texts, worked problems - that took me through my freshman year of college! Then I got a copy of "Div, Grad, Curl and All That" by Schey and worked all of the problems. This took about eight weeks of nights and weekends.

    Then I was admitted to a local college which offered physics in the late afternoon/early evening for commuting students, and took one course at a time for a four years. Eventually I completed their MS in physics, retaking a couple of senior level courses (QM, Optics, Analytical Mechanics) prior to taking the graduate versions.

    Note that I was working full-time, and supporting a family; you may be able to work a bit faster!

    Good luck!
  4. Oct 11, 2013 #3
    OH what!! 20 years!!??

    I am 25 now and i want to reboot my career. I aim to be doing radiation related research and be a medical physicists for my career.
  5. Oct 11, 2013 #4
    I am thinking of start from Halliday or randall D knight first.
    I got both. which one to start from would be better?
  6. Oct 11, 2013 #5


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    Not sure ... but I used Halliday & Resnick; any solid text book would be OK to start with. The key is being able to work problems, and to develop a good intuition for what the physics is; this is what you will be tested on when you do your "qualifying exams". These usually cover your knowledge of undergraduate physics.
  7. Oct 12, 2013 #6
    would anyone give me more advice pls?
  8. Oct 12, 2013 #7


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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  9. Oct 12, 2013 #8
    After these days working in accounting field, I realized that, the most important thing in life is not to get to be someone that other people think is hot (someone would think accountant is cool, CFO is hot, CEO! you're my alpha male! etc.). but is about to get to be someone you would proud of yourself and to do something that you would immerse yourself into, you would feel it with your heart and your would treat it like home and get comforts and joys from it.

    What I always want to do is being a professional to help people, to improve their life or to do something that would make the world move forward (may be I am naive, but I do have this passion). But being an accountant, checking the invoices for clients everyday (probably check the same set of invoices again and again), doing the same accounting entries for a client every month, siting at the office doing the same actions like a robot everyday not mention to handle the temper of the boss, I don't feel I am contributing anything at all. No matter how hard and how heartily you prepare an account or conduct an audit for your client, your client can withdraw all his money and close up the company at any time he want. The works you have done for the company just gone forever and what left to you is the money in your pocket.

    Doing science, at least I would consider myself I am contributing. Even a failure at a experiment is one step close to the truth. Nobody could take this away from you.

    I know, doing scientific works is not a profitable or cool jobs to the eye of average people, but it also won't starve you to death. I would rather dreaming to be noble prize winner than dreaming to be the next bill gates.
  10. Oct 12, 2013 #9
    Also switch from physics to accounting is easy, but the adverse is ten times harder. Why would there still be so many scientist out there if it would be happier to switch to a career in accounting? I's say, because this statement is not true at all.
  11. Oct 13, 2013 #10
    Then why are you getting advanced education in physics instead of health physics or medical physics? You'll need to be certified to be a medical physicist though which makes a phd in physics seem like an around the way path.
  12. Oct 13, 2013 #11
    Yah, to be a medical physicist at my place, at least I need to get a MSc in Physics first or MSc in Medical Physics (no such degree at my place but oversea).
  13. Oct 13, 2013 #12


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    A very wise realization. As Picasso put it:

  14. Oct 13, 2013 #13


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    While Picasso might have produced masterpieces with the blood of his fingers, most physics experiments cost lots of money, and require collaboration. Historically, the cheap and famous experiments in the 20th century were perhaps Raman's and Gabor's.

    Incidentally, I do think accountants contribute positively to society. Enron, for example, was partly a case of accountancy gone wrong.
  15. Oct 13, 2013 #14
    I didn't say anything against accountants or accounting industry, everyone in a society plays a part.
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