Physics vs Engineering: Making a Decision

In summary, the physics professor is pushing the student towards a b.s. in physics due to the student's natural aptitude for the subject, and the student is considering a physics major. The student is interested in learning more about the inside and out of the material, and has not had the opportunity to take an engineering course yet.
  • #1
Ian Baughman
36
2
So I know that this kind of discussion comes up somewhat regularly but I'm hoping to gain a better insight before I have to make a decision. I currently am finishing up my pre-reqs at a community college and am getting ready to submit my application for the university. For the longest time I had been decided on the fact that I was going to transfer into an engineering program, specifically Aerospace. Recently however, I had been talking with my physics professor who used to be an engineer and he has been pushing me more towards a b.s. in physics due to, what he calls, my natural aptitude for it. While I have done very well in all my math and physics courses and absolutely love attending my physics lecture everyday the idea of majoring in physics makes me nervous. I know that job demand is definitely not as great when compared to engineering and am worried if I am actually capable of being a competitive student in that department. With that being said, lately I have been leaning towards physics and the idea of it not only makes me nervous but also extremely excited. What I would like to know though, is what are your guys' experience with both engineering and physics and what would you recommend?
 
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  • #2
What about physics interests you, and what about engineering interests you? Ideally, name some particular topics you learned in your physics course that you want to learn more about, and likewise for any engineering courses you've taken (if you've taken any yet).
 
  • #3
From my limited physics background I so far enjoy thermodynamics and the behavior of particles the most. One of the things that interests me more than anything else is calculating entropy statistical aspect behind it. I really would like to dive further into that idea. I have found that I tend enjoy the derivation of equations and certain laws when we are first introduced to them as well. I may be wrong when saying this but when I have looked into engineering and the curriculum for an engineering degree it seems like it is all about developing an understanding of the topics and then looking at how to apply it versus learning the "why" behind it. This is the part that intrigues me though. I would like to know the inside and out of the material. However, I have not had the opportunity to take an engineering course yet so my ideas may be incorrect.
 

What is the difference between physics and engineering?

Physics is a branch of science that focuses on understanding the fundamental principles of the physical world, while engineering is the application of these principles to design and create useful systems and technologies.

Which field requires more math skills, physics or engineering?

Both physics and engineering require a strong foundation in mathematics. However, engineering typically involves more complex mathematical calculations and problem-solving, while physics focuses more on theoretical concepts and equations.

Can I study both physics and engineering?

Yes, it is possible to study both fields. Many universities offer joint degree programs in physics and engineering, or students can choose to major in one field and minor in the other.

Which field has better job opportunities, physics or engineering?

Both physics and engineering offer a wide range of job opportunities. However, engineering tends to have more practical applications and therefore may have more job opportunities in industries such as aerospace, electronics, and technology.

What skills do I need to excel in physics or engineering?

To excel in physics, one needs strong analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as a solid understanding of mathematics and scientific principles. In engineering, in addition to these skills, one also needs creativity, teamwork, and the ability to apply scientific knowledge to practical solutions.

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