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Pure Physics or Engineering?

  1. Jul 26, 2006 #1
    I'm sure a lot of folk have had to make tough decisions when faced to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. It seems I have 2 years to decide what I want to do for a living. I've narrowed it down to either studying pure physics, or aerospace engineering. I love the idea of both of them, and could see myself enjoying the profession.

    So which factors would sway my decison? What's the schooling like for the two? I'd imagine that in most cases an aerospace engineer receives the larger income. What else is there to consider? Oh and by the way if I were to study physics I'd be doing so at Mcgill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada since it is so close to where I live. If I were to study aerospace engineering I am not sure which university I would have to go to. I think Concordia may offer a masters degree program in aerospace engineering.

    Thanks for the feedback...if there will be any.:rofl:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2006 #2
    Hey, I just went through the exact same dilemma last year in college. I started out taking the initial classes an aerospace engineer would take, but throughout the year, I realized more and more that engineering just wasn't for me. I still love math and science, but I felt that engineering was not the path for me, so Physics it was.

    Now my reasons for choosing that included that I just did not have what engineering takes, plus I thought it was really boring...but another view I had was that Physics is a broader subject, and thus, if I so desired, I could master in a field of engineering if I so desired to. But remember, these are my reasons. You just need to find what you think you would enjoy better. Application of ideas, or the finding of the ideas. Just my thoughts on the matter, hope that helps.
  4. Jul 26, 2006 #3
    When you say that you just did not have what engineering takes are you implying that it is more difficult?
  5. Jul 26, 2006 #4


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    Can someone first tell me what exactly does it mean to major in "pure physics"? I have never heard of such a major. Is this something that only Canadian schools have?

  6. Jul 26, 2006 #5
    I don't know why I wrote pure infront of it. Maybe I was going to write pure sciences but then wrote physics by accident. Anyways I just simply mean physics.
  7. Jul 26, 2006 #6


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    I would have then asked "what's pure science"?

    Let me ask you another thing. What do you think is involved in a physics major, all the way to graduate school? Do you think, for example, that there's no "technical" aspect of it, such as an electronics class, or anything that deals with applications, or areas that you actually work with your hands building and repairing stuff? I'm trying to figure out here if all you think that is part of a physics program is nothing more than theoretical study of some esoteric topics?

  8. Jul 26, 2006 #7
    Not necessarily more difficult. Both studies are rigorous by any standards, but I just never had the engineering mind of building something from scrath. I would much rather study the world and its mysteries, and I seem to believe studying Physics will help me do that. I also would much rather read a Physics book than an engineering book. Anyways, thats what I meant.
  9. Jul 27, 2006 #8
    When I say pure science I'm trying to distinguish between physics- which I imply is the pure science despite the possible fact that it may be incorrect to use the term the way I did- and a social science like economics for instance.

    What do I expect hmm... a lot of mathematics courses to coincide with the increasingly difficult physics courses, fun :rofl: , hard work :yuck: , and sure I would expect hands on training with a wide array of devices considering the fact that physicists tend to work with cutting edge technology that their huge ideas, and observations demand.
  10. Jul 29, 2006 #9
    I think "hard science" vs. "soft science" would work better here.
  11. Jul 30, 2006 #10
    Here in Australia, there is some degree of that. Nearly all universities have separate faculties for engineering and science (and even IT in some places), although - depending on the university - engineering does sometimes "borrow" units from the science and business faculties. Consequently, what you'll find is that a science degree with, say, a physics major will focus on the concepts and principles (backed up, of course, by laboratories and demonstrations) whereas an engineering degree student will take these concepts and concentrate on their applications. That, I think, would be a reasonable definition of what "pure" science is - the concepts rather than the applications - but the term isn't as relevant here with entirely different faculties for both.

    Aside from that, I'm reasonably certain that Mozart wasn't implying there was no experimental/laboratory component to a physics major. ;)
  12. Jan 27, 2011 #11
    so if someone has a bachelor of pure physics or electronics which major and which university do you advice someone like me who lives in lebanon but was born in australlia ?? details please
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