(Physicists only): What area of physics do you specialize in

(For physics PhD students, postdocs, and faculty only) What area of physics do you specialize in?

  • condensed matter physics (theory)

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • condensed matter physics (experimental)

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • particle physics/high energy physics (theory)

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • particle physics/high energy physics (experimental)

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • particle physics/high energy physics (phenomenology)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • astrophysics/cosmology

    Votes: 3 20.0%
  • photonics/optics

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • geophysics

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • atmospheric physics

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • biophysics

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • medical physics

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • other physics

    Votes: 6 40.0%

  • Total voters
    15
  • Poll closed .
  • #1
StatGuy2000
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Hi everyone! Since this is a physics forum, I was curious which area of physics research did you specialize in, so I set up this poll.

Please note the following:

1. My question is directed to current physics students, postdocs, and faculty members. You can also answer if you have completed a PhD in physics, but ended up working either in a related area or outside of physics altogether (in which case click which research area of physics you specialized in your PhD research).

2. I based my list of physics research areas out of research activities in my alma mater (University of Toronto). However, it's possible that I may have left out several important research areas within physics. If you specialized in such a field, click "other physics".
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
ZapperZ
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I specialize in more than one area. What do I do?

Zz.
 
  • #3
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I answered condensed matter, but I'm not a physicist. I'm a computer scientist who occasionally has to work with and design custom hardware. Most of the time, classical equations are enough, but QED is required when components get really small or close together. Everything I know though is undergrad, so I'm not sure if you want to count my vote or not.
 
  • #4
StatGuy2000
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I specialize in more than one area. What do I do?

Zz.
Argh! :H I should have set up a multiple selection option for the poll!

Zz, pick whichever physics field /specialization you are most heavily involved with or like.
 
  • #5
ZapperZ
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Argh! :H I should have set up a multiple selection option for the poll!

Zz, pick whichever physics field /specialization you are most heavily involved with or like.
This is like Sophie's Choice. You're making me choose which one of my two children that I should save!

Zz.
 
  • #6
StatGuy2000
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This is like Sophie's Choice. You're making me choose which one of my two children that I should save!

Zz.
Unfortunately, it's too late for me to either delete this thread, or to change the poll. As someone with a background in statistics, why not flip a (fair) coin to choose which physics field to answer (randomizing is a strategy in game theory)?

Again, the situation is not ideal, but I'm not sure what else to suggest.
 
  • #7
Evo
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@ZapperZ and others, I have reset the poll so you may add more than one choice and you may change your choices.
 
  • #8
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I still find the poll a bit too incomplete. Why did you put a division between theory and experiment only for two disciplines? Certainly most areas have this division. Also, several big areas are missing entirely: Atomic physics, Molecular physics, Quantum physics etc. I voted other because of that.
 
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  • #9
ZapperZ
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I still find the poll a bit too incomplete. Why did you put a division between theory and experiment only for two disciplines? Certainly most areas have this division. Also, several big areas are missing entirely: Atomic physics, Molecular physics, Quantum physics etc. I voted other because of that.
Nuclear Physics is also another huge area that is missing.

I think StatGuy should have used the categories that the APS uses for their members division.

Zz.
 
  • #10
StatGuy2000
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Nuclear Physics is also another huge area that is missing.

I think StatGuy should have used the categories that the APS uses for their members division.

Zz.
I have based the categories on this poll based on the research fields within the physics department for my alma mater, as well as my own understanding about the different physics fields:

https://www.physics.utoronto.ca/research

Part of the reason why I created an "Other Physics" category is that I was aware that there will be several areas of physics research that I would no doubt miss.

As far as the APS site, I have had no reason to check the APS website previously, and when I just checked the site, I couldn't find any links which summarize the different subfields of physics (perhaps I'm not looking at the right places).

Aside, in response to Zarqon: (1) My understanding is that there is no such thing as "quantum physics" as a research field, since pretty much all physics research involve an understanding of quantum mechanics as part of its foundation.

(2) The split between theory and experiment for the two fields were based on the fields of physics I've read the most about where there was a clear separation between theory and experiment. I'm sure there are other such areas which I do not know much about.
 
  • #11
ZapperZ
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I have based the categories on this poll based on the research fields within the physics department for my alma mater, as well as my own understanding about the different physics fields:

https://www.physics.utoronto.ca/research

Part of the reason why I created an "Other Physics" category is that I was aware that there will be several areas of physics research that I would no doubt miss.
The risk in doing that is that, even for a university as prominent as UoT, you are going to miss areas that are not big for that institution.

As far as the APS site, I have had no reason to check the APS website previously, and when I just checked the site, I couldn't find any links which summarize the different subfields of physics (perhaps I'm not looking at the right places).
http://www.aps.org/membership/units/index.cfm

Zz.
 
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  • #12
StatGuy2000
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The risk in doing that is that, even for a university as prominent as UoT, you are going to miss areas that are not big for that institution.
Yes that was the risk I was taking (part of my rationale for including the catch-all "other physics" category, although that option was not optimal).

Thanks for the link!
 
  • #13
StatGuy2000
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To the moderators (and everyone on PF):

Since it is clear that I have not considered the various fields of physics, is it possible to (a) lock this thread, and (b) delete this thread entirely?
 
  • #14
Evo
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To the moderators (and everyone on PF):

Since it is clear that I have not considered the various fields of physics, is it possible to (a) lock this thread, and (b) delete this thread entirely?
Do you want to re-start the thread?
 
  • #15
StatGuy2000
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Do you want to re-start the thread?
Yes I do.
 
  • #16
Evo
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