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Regarding Computational Physics

  1. Jan 27, 2012 #1
    Hello! Some questions regarding Computational Physics:

    1. Education: In becoming a Computational Physicist, What would one take as a major in the undergraduate level, and as well as in the graduate and post graduate levels (Masters and Phd, respectfully)?

    - Would one take a BS major in Computer Science, or in Physics perhaps, or a double major maybe, or one major and one minor combination? I've also read that very few schools offer an actual Computational Physics BS degree.

    - What to take for the masters level? Does this involved some specific research and/or specialization that is required?

    - For the Phd, what would one specialize in? What research programs? How to declare Computational Physics as your doctorate?

    *I'm sorry I'm not really sure how graduate/postgraduate schools really work, as I still haven't started going into a university/college. So please correct any incorrect statements I've made above, should there be any. Additional Info is appreciated.

    *I also note that I may not necessarily start to study college in the US, Canada, or UK. So educational systems might vary from where I am (Philippines). But I'm hoping, should I get blessed with the opportunity, that I'll do my graduate studies in the US and abroad, as well work abroad too.

    2. Career/Research Areas: What kind of work, and which fields/branch of physics, a computational physicist can engage/work on?

    - Can a computational physicist do theoretical and/or experimental work/research? (Of course, I'm interested in being a theorist. But I do would like to know about other options.)

    - I've read that computational physics is fundamentally (is this the right word?) inter/multi-disciplinary, as its scope has Astrophysics, Accelerator Physics, Condensed Matter/Solid-State, and more. But is computational physics limited to these areas of research/fields, or can you eventually go into other areas?

    - Can a computational physicist also switch and work in other areas, especially the theoretical major ones, such as Particle Physics, String Theory, Quantum Gravity, and the like. Does computational physics have any research related to quantum mechanics, gravity, general relativity?

    - Does a computational physicist generally just work on a computer most of the time, or can they also do work without the use of the computer?

    - As a computational physicist, can one also work/research in the discipline of Computer Science, especially in theoretical Computer Science?

    3. Is computational physics a good area to go into nowadays and in the coming future?

    - Does it have any significant, good/major ongoing research, especially contributing in modern physics?

    - Does it have good employment positions and opportunities, both in academia and
    industry? (I'm more into the pure-research side, so I might prefer academia over the latter.)

    Thank you very much in advance! I hope I did not leave any other questions. But I would also appreciate any other related information. I deeply apologize for the long post in this new thread.

    Respectfully and Sincerely yours,
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2012 #2
    In the UK, a physics BSc degree would be the most appropriate. You will probably be offered a programming course as an option. (E.g. Manchester run a course in C for physicists ...). So check that a programming option is well integrated into any physics course you wish to take!

    You will probably have the chance to do a "final year project" involving computational physics. Again, check that this is possible before you arrive. (Don't just assume. Most probably will have this option, but it's best to check these things...) At MSc level you can find specialised courses, or MSc courses including some computational component.


  4. Jan 28, 2012 #3
    Alright, I'll take this into notice. Although I guess I have to check with the university I'm going to, about their actual curriculum. Thanks!

    As soon as in the undergraduate studies?

    I am a very careful guy so yes, I agree with this. I'll check everything out first!

    Alright! Thanks for the link! Is there any other resouces in the internet I could check out regarding guidance in Physics?

    Cool! Thanks!
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