1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Physics or Engineering ,please help

  1. Aug 5, 2008 #1
    Hi, i knowthere were surely enough of such threads.:blushing:

    Well, the problem here in the country i live in is that there is a clean seperation.
    With a bachelor in physics you can't do a master in engineering.
    I have lookd up several universities, but no chance.
    Also vice-versa.

    I like to understand but also to apply the knowledge, to research, to create and to develop. So technology in general.
    The knowledge alone is not enough for me, it is what you make of it.

    I could be interested in :

    - Nanotechnology ( i know, this means much but also nothing, what i mean is not the optimization of materials, but all those things in those pop-science-world , nanobots etc....)

    - Biophysics

    - Molecular electronics /engineering

    - Energy-technology (fusion-energy and so on)

    But is Physics the right way to go?

    I want applications, and not just some simulation or chalk on the board.

    I just can't decide.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2008 #2
    I don't know what the recent progresses are, actually.

    But if the fundamentals are still not enough, there is not much to apply or to create.

    I want the nanobots to become reality.
  4. Aug 5, 2008 #3
    Are there any Biophysics Applications?

    Or in "nanotechnology", is there anything else besides material, surface engineering?
  5. Aug 6, 2008 #4

  6. Aug 6, 2008 #5


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    It looks like the fields you're currently interested in are more engineering related than physics-related, though this probably differs depending on geography. You might want to see if your college offers hybrid majors such as "engineering physics" or "applied physics"
  7. Aug 6, 2008 #6
    oh, thanks, first answer :) :

    No there is the problem.
    The country i live in.
    And those few colleges that have "applied physics" are really unknown and have no or bad reputation, so almost no chance for me to get a master in a foreign country.

    I was so surprised when i read several threads of other users what engineering master to choose after a physics bachelor and vice-versa.

    Or actually....if i get a top bachelor in physics, and want to complete the master in USA for example, can i get an engineering master then?

    I want to leave the current country anyways.
  8. Aug 6, 2008 #7


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Sure it's possible, just look up some the websites of some engineering grad schools in the US.
  9. Aug 6, 2008 #8
    Meh, somehow i am really in a difficult situation.

    I just can't decide.

    So many interesting stuffs and i have to restrict it to a few.

    But one thing is definetely sure.
    I am not gonna be theoretical phsyicist , perhaps as a hobby it is ok (just like Einstein , who did it in his free-time).

    I want to be creative.
    (Try to) invent new technologies.

    The only question is, which way is the better one to pick to reach the goals.
  10. Aug 6, 2008 #9
    One more question^^

    In the US, which university has the best faculty for bio-nano-technology?
  11. Aug 7, 2008 #10
    And to ask the other way round.

    As an engineer, how possible is it to get in touch with (molecolar)nanotechnology without it being just material engineering?
  12. Aug 7, 2008 #11
    Actually what i am aiming at is transhumanism, which is the frame.
  13. Aug 7, 2008 #12
    Some hints? :(
  14. Aug 8, 2008 #13
    What do you think of Cybernetics?

    I read that they are the generalists among the engineers.
  15. Aug 8, 2008 #14


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Well the fields you're listing fall under the scope of majors such as electrical and computer engineering, I'll say it leans more to electrical/electronic since you're more interested in biomedical engineering. This probably differs by country, but biomed engineering is considered more of a grad specialisation than a bachelor's degree.
  16. Aug 8, 2008 #15
    Hm the optimal course i can think should atleast contain the following lectures:

    Maths +(Bio)informatics +
    Biophysics + Condensed Matter physics + Solid state physics
    + electrical engineering + mechanical engineering
    + chemistry

    But i couldn't find anything like this, not in the country i live in (Germany...).

    Actually i am fine if Molecular Nanotechnology as a course would be offered...
  17. Aug 8, 2008 #16


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    It sounds like you're trying to squish advanced concepts into a general program. You can't start with biophysics, for example. You need to begin with basic physics and biology and work your way up.

    With such a diverse range of interests, you should look for a program that starts out fairly general with courses in physics, math, biology, and chemistry and perhaps one that would also allow you to easily tranfer to an engineering program. Once you experience these subjects at a university level, you'll be in a better position to decide which science or engineering field you'll enjoy.

    If you decide then, to pursue physics for example - don't worry about a fancy title like "honours nanotechnobabble" - just do an honours physics degree. You can select a sub-specialty once you get into graduate school.
  18. Aug 8, 2008 #17
    Yeah, i know basics are maths , physics, chemistry and some biology.

    The problem is that i need to decide now for a bachelor course.
    As i mentioned, once i get a bachelor in science (physics for example), the way for a master in engineering won't be existing anymore.

    Now, i am really trying hard to look up every university here and try to find the curriculum and the specific courses.
    Some "unknown" universities here are actually offering a more versatile programm than the "top" unis here.

    Also there is a problem with the reputation of the university i study in, i think.
    To apply for a master in a foreign country, the name plays a big role.

    What do you think?

    Is it harder to gain knowledge from engineering stuffs or pure science stuffs?

    I need to learn besides courses anyways to give me a broader perspective.

    The question is which way.
    More engineering at uni and read pure scientific books to teach it myself or the other way round?

    Thanks for any advice :D
  19. Aug 8, 2008 #18


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Nothing you've said indicates you're interested in a physics degree. I'd say you should start with some kind of an engineering or materials science degree. You're not going to be a researcher in "bionanotechnology" (a field which does not exist in any meaningful form today) without a Ph.D., so plan ahead: choose a curriculum which can lead you to a Ph.D.

    - Warren
  20. Aug 9, 2008 #19
    Sounds like engineering is your calling. Most of physics can't be applied. Once you get into the deep theories, they will remain on paper for quite some time.

    Einstein was not a theoretical phycist "as a hobby". His degree was in physics and he studied physics theory all his life. He was employed as a patent clerk because he could not find a teaching post. His education, and his free-time, was devoted to physics.

    If you want to attempt to model the world around you with math, the way Newton and Einstein did, then that is physics. If you want to apply this knowledge to technology, that is engineering.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  21. Aug 9, 2008 #20
    Yeah, that was an over-statement.
    What i meant is that he actually did what he wanted to do in his "free-time".

    I think i will def. go into the the direction of engineering.

    I mean, assuming that i would be a great theoretical physicist.
    I won't see any technologies in my life-time that will use the theory if it is even possible.

    The only question i ask is actually.

    Do we have all fundamentals for nanotechnology, so that is "only" a matter of engineering or do we lack major knowledge.

    How far away are we from the 3rd stage actually?

    Well anyways, in Germany there is a more clean seperation between science and engineering.
    Unfortunately nanoscience/technology is devoted to science.

    Or i have to wait one more year and apply for the ETH Zürich (the MIT of Europe ^^) where Nanotechnology is definitely devoted to engineering.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?