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Interest and career

  1. Jun 3, 2008 #1
    My first post to this forum and its with some thing to do with the career.
    I will be a BSc Graduate this year with major in physics.(In India)
    I am very much interested in the physics of "Asteroids, meteors, comets".
    I want to know what should I be getting into to later be in a position to expand my interest as a career.In other words from where and what degree should I look upto.

    Plus I would also like to know what is a BSc student majored in physics expected to know?
    The subjects like solid state physics, electronics are not much of my favorites.
    Considering the rest of the topics E and M , thermodynamics ,QM, and classical mechanics and also mathematical applications of physics , what text should I be using for these.
    Am kind of weak in mathematics.

    I have been reading the Feynman lectures,DJ griffiths for ED,bieser and Robert resnick for QM and for classical mechanics i refer to multiple books.

    And also how much is the study of "non linear dynamics" helpful for a research in asteroids,comets etc.

    I really apologize if I posted it in the wrong thread and also for my bad english.
    Thanks in advance.

    (mods please remove the same post from the "zappers" thread)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2008 #2
    Well firstly you'll probably want to have a lot of astrophysics course and you'll also want to have an idea of what kind of astrophysics you want to do (a lot of roads lead to astro applications such as computational, mathematical and observational). The fact that solid state and electronics were not your favorite subjects will not be a problem since they're not really related to astro.

    As I said a lot of roads lead to astro applications and one of them is non-linear dynamics but it is by no means the only one (i.e. there are areas or astro where it applies but you could also work in an area where it's not very important).

    As for what you should be aiming for, well the most conventional path would be to finish your BSc and then apply to grad school (either Masters of PhD) for astrophyics. Hope that helps
  4. Jun 6, 2008 #3
    But should it be MSc or PhD.
    And how useful would it be if done from India or abroad.
  5. Jun 6, 2008 #4


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    I'm curious, but where would an astrophysics graduate find work in industry?
  6. Jun 6, 2008 #5
    " I'm curious, but where would an astrophysics graduate find work in industry?"

    Well they wouldn't do astrophysics they'd do something else for which their astrophyics background can be of use.

    " OK.
    But should it be MSc or PhD.
    And how useful would it be if done from India or abroad."

    Well that depends entirely on the country in which you want to study. For example in Canada and the U.K. one is expected to get a Masters and THEN a PhD but in the U.S. one usually goes straight to PhD so it's not so much a choice of which degree but of where. As for india vs. abroad I think if you get a degree from india you'll probably experience some resistance if you try to use that degree elsewhere.
  7. Aug 15, 2008 #6
    Replying to this thread after a long time - was considering that I was surfing for the prospects of Asteroid research and found several European and US based programs like the very well known LINEAR.(I would like to know more these such programs.)
    I have emailed them regarding the qualifications required to join such program.
    Awaiting their response.
    I would like to know more about the recruitment of students for such programs.

    Thank you.
  8. Aug 16, 2008 #7
    I know people in the UK who have gone straight from BSc to PhD.
  9. Aug 16, 2008 #8


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    That's pretty common nowadays. It seems people would rather skip their MSc to get a PhD earlier.
  10. Aug 16, 2008 #9
    MScs are quite unusual in the UK, the usual way of doing a masters degree is a 4 year undergraduate course (MSci). Most current and recent PhD students I know have an MSci degree. That or an MSc is recommended for doing a PhD, but not compulsory.
  11. Aug 16, 2008 #10
    I saw that to when i was looking at Cambridge.
    But I heard most universities are moving to a 4 year program in the UK anyways.
  12. Aug 16, 2008 #11


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    I wouldn't agree with that: undergrad masters are new, in that they have only been out in the last decade or so. There are still many MSc courses around, and some PhD programmes do require their candidates to hold MSc degrees.
  13. Aug 16, 2008 #12
    In India the BSc degree is of three years.
    I want to know if getting a PhD from India is more preferable while applying for
    those programs I mentioned before or a MSc degree from India and PhD from some university abroad would be a good thing?
    And kindly tell me the qualifications required for those programs @ asteroid research.
    Thank you.
  14. Aug 20, 2008 #13
    There's quite a lot of 'near Earth impact' work going on in the UK:


    My alma mater, Leicester University, is a major centre for astronomy, including near Earth objects:

    http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/issues/naturalhazards/neo.asp [Broken]

    Leicester has a large immigrant population, with some great Indian restaurants, so the culture shock shouldn't be too bad! It also has the national space centre. Why did I ever leave? Ho hum.


    http://www.spacecentre.co.uk/careers/index.htm [Broken]

    Cleaner or Space Crew? Interesting choice! Might be better to apply for a scholarshiop though:

    http://www.britishcouncil.org/india-scholarships-awarding-bodies.htm [Broken]

    The Scottish universities are strong in astronomy, check out Glasgow, Edinburgh for starters.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  15. Aug 20, 2008 #14
    They may be new, but for physics students studying now in the UK, an MSci is far more common than an MSc, at least in Bristol where it's about 50 MSci graduates to one MSc. I only know 3 people who have done MScs, one because his grades were too bad to so an MSci, one because he did an MSci in physics but wanted to move to Earth Sciences, and one I'm not sure.

    Where requires an MSc rather than an MSci? I've never heard of that and I've looked at and heard about a LOT of PhDs recently.
  16. Aug 21, 2008 #15
    @ mal4mac : Wow, you made my day.This is precisely what I was searching for.
    I am kind of naive in this field , I would like to consult you on more about this.
  17. Aug 22, 2008 #16
    Sorry for double posting.

    But after going through those links I am in more dilemma than ever before.
    I am confused about getting "degrees".

    Leicester University offers courses in almost all fields of astronomy and astrophysics but asteroids etc.
    The NERC isn't specific about their qualification criteria.

    Considering my situation , will it be feasible for me to get an MSc from India itself and then search for institutes offering PhD in my field of interest (asteroids etc)?

    I got confused for the sole reason that such institutes are being very "blurry" about their qualification requirements.
  18. Sep 10, 2008 #17
    which are the colleges offering BSc astrophysics course in India , how good are they with respect to international standards
    what are the prospects of doing an astrophysics masters degree after engineering physics
    who offer engineering physics in India other than IIT
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