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Physics Major

  1. Jun 18, 2005 #1


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    I"m in grade 12 now, and I'll be going to university next year.
    I got accepted to Engineering, but now I'm not sure if that's what I really want to do. I love theoretical physics, and I don't mind majoring in that, except I'm not sure what are some career options. I don't like lecturing people, and I don't want to teach. So if I majored in physics, what can I do later in life?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2005 #2
    I have a friend who is now studying in Toranto in environmental engineering department.
    She told me in an email that most of Canadian people like to study physics very much, that must be why I am now not in the least wondering Aki also prepares for physics studies at all.
    How about being a researcher in quantum physics ? This job I have heard also has good salary and is very interesting. I also check several of your posts and wow, you sound like a very brilliant student, believe in yourself, you are going to have bright future then. From quantum physics, you can also run into quantum computing which is what most people nowadays wish to pursue, applying the theorems and ideas from quantum physics to solving problems in circuits (quantum circuits), cryptology(factoring very large number...)..., And be sure that when you are into quantum physics, you are not far away from nanotechnology either.

    Good luck

  4. Jun 18, 2005 #3


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    Read ZapperZ's journal (he's got this covered) : https://www.physicsforums.com/journal.php?s=&action=view&journalid=6230&perpage=10&page=10 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  5. Jun 18, 2005 #4

    Hi i majored in theoretical physics while being in college. If you wanna have a specific example, read https://www.physicsforums.com/journal.php?s=&journalid=13790&action=view [Broken]
    (scroll down to the 'life of a physics phd student')

    The link that Gokul provided is quite general in content and most of it you already know. Here you have a specific realtime example of someone who majored in QFT and went on to do a phd in nano-technology.

    Majoring in theoretical physics gives you a very solid base (more then majoring in more experimental fields) that allows you to more easily understand physical processes in other fields. Someone with an experimental background will have much more difficulties with that. It will be quite easy for you to make the transition to a more technological field if you want to. The reason being that it will be very easy to learn the concepts necessary to get the work done.

    For example i have seen theorists that became engineers. They made the transition quite smoothly because theoretical physics is much more difficult conceptually then experimental physics and engineering. In my case, i had to learn some of the more practical engineering systems that are used for MOSFET caracterization, but trust me that is not difficult.

    Besides, here is a little anecdote. When working with the simulation software, we encountered the option plasmafrequence. Ofcourse, my collegue and I asked our promotor what it was used for and he started his explanation by using the concepts of plasmons (you know, conduction electrons that move back and forth, according to the frequence of an incident electric field, the particles associated with this gradient in electron-density (ie the waves of the electron density) are the plasmons). Well, if you studied theoretical physics, this will be very easy to understand but if you are an engineer, it will take you much more time.

    My suggestion to you : go for the theory as much as possible, while being at college. The experimental part will come later when you actually are doing something specific.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  6. Jun 18, 2005 #5
    pick up some 3D programming and you can build 3D Engines based on physics =]
  7. Jun 21, 2005 #6


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    Thanks you for all the advices.
    I think I'm going to try engineering the first year and see how I like it. If I don't, then I'm going to major in theoretical physics. If I don't try engineering, then I'll never know what it's like, especially since I've always thought I was going to be an engineer when I grow up.
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