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Need advice on whether solid state physics is something for me

  1. Nov 23, 2006 #1
    Hey everybody,

    I apologize if this is not in the right forum, or if it is not within the scope of this website. I would like to go to grad school in the field of nanotechnology. I'm a physics and math major at the moment, but I'm not entire sure which field of physics would complement nanotechnology that much. I hear that solid state physics may be my best bet, but I'm a little unsure what the topic is comprised of, as it is a relatively broad area. Would anybody be willing to give a summary of what solid state physics is, or can anyone enlighten me as to another possible alternative that would help me to eventually do nanotechnology? Many thanks for any responses.

    -Alex W.

    P.S. If anybody is offended by people joining these forums for a one-time post then leave, please know that I like these forums and am here to stay. I just haven't thought of any other questions to ask. :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2006 #2
    oops

    Now that I think about it, I may have meant to say condensed matter, rather than solid state physics. Same questions apply. See post for details. :)
     
  4. Nov 24, 2006 #3
    Basically condensed matter physics, chemistry and materials science are all viable routes for getting into the nano field. The two latter will more likely lead you into fabrication of nanostructures but not neccessarily.
     
  5. Nov 24, 2006 #4
    Thanks for the reply. I'm thinking of also doing a natural science minor (half biology classes, half chemistry classes) to hopefully help me down the road. It seems, however, easier to do a pure physics field in grad school rather than a hybrid of physics, biology, and chemistry. Also, I read that grad schools are very interested in the type of research the undergraduate has done. My school does offer some research, but it is mostly in the field of particle physics. Does anyone know of any type of outside organization that offers research to undergraduates? I've done some homework and come across REU, but the programs seem selective, and I'm not sure if I'll be admitted even applying to 6-10 different REU programs. Are there examples of undergraduates who do research on their own, without any outside help? If this is a viable option, I would like to do some original research. Any help would be appreciated.

    -Alex W.
     
  6. Nov 24, 2006 #5

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Solid State Physics is now largely Condensed Matter Physics, but that is what one would study in conjunction with nanotechnology.

    Nanotechnology may be embedded in Materials Science/Engineering programs. The engineering is afterall, Applied Physics.

    I searched Google with "Nanotechnology","Condensed Matter Physics" and found -

    http://www.le.ac.uk/ph/research/cmp/

    http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofMathematicsandPhysics/con/

    http://www.cmmp.ucl.ac.uk/

    http://www.phys.canterbury.ac.nz/research/condensed.shtml#NanotechnologyProgramme
    http://www.phys.canterbury.ac.nz/research/condensed_matter/nano.shtml

    http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/research/qocmp/cmp/

    http://www.phys.washington.edu/users/seidler/cmexp.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condensed_matter_physics

    So look at CMP programs and see what they do with nanotechnology.
     
  7. Nov 24, 2006 #6
    I'm considering the same thing, thanks for the links!

    *edit: Well I'm not in the UK, but thanks anyways
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2006
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