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Quantum Chemistry

  1. Nov 17, 2008 #1
    Quantum Chemistry is a real field that interests me (senior in high school). I was wondering what degree i should pursue to get something tha tworks with that. (Molecular Orbitals, etc).

    Should I do Physics Major and Chemistry minor, or Chemistry Major Physics Minor? Any bit of math involved there?

    I really love physics (by physics I mean the layman books about that type of stuff like quarks, gluons, etc), but I'm afraid I won't be able to pull off the math. I'm fairly good at math, I am in AP calc and am doing above average in there, but still not stellar, and figured chemistry would be slightly less mathematical.

    My AP Chem class is my favorite of the day and bonding is just a fascinating thing, I was wondering what major/minor I should declare and what type of job I should look into (research-type is prefered).
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2008 #2
    I actually was in the same situation - I loved the physics side of chemistry after high school, and i started with a major in chem. I switched to physics halfway through frosh year, because i felt like my chem classes didn't really do enough 'deep' explanation, (but i'd be doing a double if i had planned through fitting chem labs in my schedule). For me, more math isn't too bad, mostly because i don't mind spending time learning it. Just try taking classes from both when you're in college, and see how it goes, maybe you're not as bad as you think.
    Have you considered looking at materials science? I'm starting to realize this year that the curriculum is actually a lot of what i like - right on the physics/chemistry line, and not as abstract as physics can be (of course, you might see it differently). Just a thought..
  4. Nov 18, 2008 #3
    The school I will be attending doesn't hnave a materials science type degree. The only thing they have in science like that is physics and chem, so I just want what I can do to best prepare myself for that type of job. Materials science would be great fun too.
  5. Nov 18, 2008 #4
    We can put it this way, quantum chemistry without advanced mathematics is just petty chemistry. Quantum chemistry with advanced math is science.

    Besides, you will never get depth in quantum chemistry without some programming skills and a lot of maths. One of the person behind the Gaussian type orbital basis sets (GTO) won the nobelprice. What did he major in? Mathematics. :D

    Besides, you can always transfer if you got good grades and good extra curriculars. I recommend computational physics/chemistry if you want to work with this subject area.
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