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Professions involving Physics

  1. Dec 28, 2003 #1
    I took Physics last year and enjoyed it alot, so I decided to take AP Physics this year and I am enjoying it even more. I thought that I had my career path all planned out but I'm wondering if a career in Physics might be worth looking into (maybe I'll double major). I was wondering if someone could tell me what professions are out there and what they would consist of. I know there are tons of them especially when it comes to the area of engineering, but I just want to know what professions are out there.
    Thank you!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2003 #2
    I teach Physics to children ages 13 to 18 in an Independent school in the UK. I love it. It is a fantastic job.

    Not perhaps a 'career in Physics' but with 18 weeks holiday a year and great job satisfaction, not a bad one to consider!
  4. Dec 28, 2003 #3
    What are some of your other interests? Do any of your interests outside of physics overlap any particular field? What is it about physics that interests you the most?

    That does sound like a great job. Generally, what do your students find the most interesting? Is there any particular area of physics that seems to catch their attention more?
  5. Dec 29, 2003 #4
    The careers in physics that come to mind are

    (1) Teaching
    (2) Industry
    (3) Military
    (4) Government

    The areas in physics that come to mind are

    (1) Computational physics
    (2) Medical physics
    (3) Theoretical physics
    (4) Applied/Experimental physics

    Then there are different branches and the above get interwined etc. E.g. in industry one might get into solid state physics. In theoretical one might get into solid state physics as well as relativity. One rarely gets into relativity in the military though.

    Lately I find myself interested in medical physics.
  6. Dec 30, 2003 #5
    Medical Physics is a huge emerging (though it has been around for a long time) field. There are a lot of job opportunities. For instance do a search at Monster. I work on the fringe of the field and the school I am at now is searching for 2 new professors with research interests in that field. Since Wisconsin is having so much funding taking away, the fact that this department is still searching for researchers in this field, seems to imply that the view it as an important field to be involved in (since there are now direct links to the field here and now.)
    On another note, you will know a lot more about whether you want to go into physics on a professional level once you take a couple college level physics classes.
    Good luck with you choices and hope this helps.
  7. Dec 30, 2003 #6
    Well there are many opportunities in both the entertainment and food service industries...........

    Publish or perish!!!
  8. Dec 30, 2003 #7
    I've seen large catalog type volumes in employment offices that list professions involving physics.Maybe they are now on CD. Would anyone know what those listings are called?
  9. Dec 30, 2003 #8

    Chi Meson

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    One of my first students (High school, AP physics) went on to a career in stage management. Its definately not theoretical physics, but he deals with pulleys, electric diagrams, and even blackbody radiation (stage lights, evidently, are rated in "kelvins"!)

    Many people forget that acoustical engineering is also a physics field. What those folks at Bose are doing gives me plenty to talk about in the waves and sound unit. Every backstage crew at a large concert has to have at least someone who knows their physics.

    More physics is involved in the "renewable resourses" field. THere are people making better photovoltaics, wind turbines, and other creative power producing devices (I think piezoelectric is gonna be big). Combined with a chemestry degree, maybe you can perfect the "trash to electricity" incinerators and take care of two problems at once.

    And there is the realm of fluid dynamics. THink wind-tunnels and move to Detroit. Combine it with an oceanography degree and do simething about el nino.

    And product testing. I mean like crush it, break it, blow it apart type testing. I once had a temporary job crushing core samples of airport runways. It was tremendous fun.

    There's more, but I have to run.
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