I Need Guidance in Becoming a Nuclear Physicist

In summary, the conversation is about a junior in high school who is interested in nuclear science and wants to prepare in advance. They are seeking advice on how to get a head start and gain basic understanding, as well as looking for a mentor. The conversation also touches on the importance of networking, doing well in undergrad and getting internships. It is mentioned that the individual wants to be a nuclear engineer, specifically researching fission. They are advised to study basic physics and mathematics to build a strong foundation for their future studies.
  • #1
Alden.Smith
2
0
Hello PFers!
I am currently a Junior in HighSchool and I am extremely interested in Nuclear Science. My mentality is to prepare for things in advance as soon as possible, so I would love to know some things that I can research and do that would give me a head start and basic understanding of the science behind, well, Nuclear Science! I'd appreciate any help from anyone, or if anyone is interested in becoming my mentor!



Thank you all for these forums, and I look forward to reading your replies!
 
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  • #2
Do extremely well in undergrad, get into the best graduate school you can, and do lots of internships at places like national labs. Always be networking, do every task (even the boring ones) to the best of your ability) and treat everyone you meet along the way with respect.

Also, keep a plan B open (like engineering or computer science).

Best of luck to you! I didn't figure out what I wanted to do until Junior year of college, so you're ahead of the game.

What sub-areas of nuclear science are you interested in?
 
  • #5
Oh my, it seems as though I did not have my terminology right, I actually want to be a nuclear engineer. My main objective would be to research fission and help improve it for future generations.
 
  • #6
Hi Alden,

You'd be swimming against the tide but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Check out this website to get an idea of the types of classes you would take.

http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/
 
  • #7
Alden.Smith said:
Oh my, it seems as though I did not have my terminology right, I actually want to be a nuclear engineer. My main objective would be to research fission and help improve it for future generations.

I recommend you start looking at studying basic physics through modern physics (no rush, just try and understand it the best you can) and work on mathematics of algebra/trigonometry through calculus and differential equations. That will provide a really good foundation for your course work (if you so choose to do a NE degree).
 

1. What education do I need to become a nuclear physicist?

To become a nuclear physicist, you will need at least a bachelor's degree in physics or a related field such as nuclear engineering. Many nuclear physicists also go on to obtain a master's or doctoral degree in nuclear physics or a specialized subfield.

2. What skills are important for a nuclear physicist?

Strong mathematical skills, critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and attention to detail are all important skills for a nuclear physicist. Additionally, good communication skills and the ability to work well in a team are important for collaborating with other scientists on research projects.

3. What types of research do nuclear physicists do?

Nuclear physicists conduct research in a variety of areas, including nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, and nuclear medicine. They may also study the fundamental properties of atoms and subatomic particles, as well as their interactions and reactions.

4. What job opportunities are available for nuclear physicists?

Nuclear physicists can find employment in a variety of industries, including government agencies, research laboratories, universities, and private companies. They may work on research projects, develop new technologies, or teach at the university level.

5. What are some challenges faced by nuclear physicists?

Nuclear physicists may face challenges such as obtaining funding for research projects, working with potentially hazardous materials, and staying up-to-date with rapidly advancing technologies. They may also face ethical considerations when working on projects related to nuclear energy or weapons.

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