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Scientific/Physics Companies

  1. Dec 27, 2005 #1
    I know they are elctronics and engineering companies,but what about scientific?

    More precisley physics. The main idea is that a physics or research compny would have nothing to sell. They offer no products to the consumer. I don't know if they exist but if they do I don't know how they have money without products to stay in buisness.
     
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  3. Dec 27, 2005 #2

    Tide

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    That depends on what you mean by "product" and "consumer." Visit www.saic.com to get an idea of what one particular such company does and who their customers are.
     
  4. Dec 27, 2005 #3

    Dr Transport

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    SAIC is an engineering firm, they only do physics when it is completely necessary to get a contract from the govt, i.e., DOD, NASA,...

    They are otherwise known as a beltway bandit.... They also only hire when they have a contract in place or if you go out and get a contract with a government agency, they will be more than happy to do all the logistics (health insurance, unemployment insurance, taxes etc....) and take a large cut.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2005
  5. Dec 27, 2005 #4
    It seems they do producys but I mean companies that do research.
     
  6. Dec 27, 2005 #5

    Integral

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    I think that they generally call that sort of "company" ie one that does not have a product other then research, a University.
     
  7. Dec 27, 2005 #6
    don't they have companies that sell to other companies like the perimeter institue or RIM?
     
  8. Dec 27, 2005 #7

    Astronuc

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  9. Dec 27, 2005 #8
    IBM has a large research division, they are one of if not the largest patent producers in the US. There exists within IBM a position called an IBM Fellow, this position is appointed by whoever the CEO of IBM is at the time and it gives the individual the ability to pursue research in whatever areas of expertise they may have, in the hopes that they will produce something which can then be patented and turned into a product.

    It's not something that someone like a cosmologist would be well suited for, but if you're doing solid state, quantum information theory, or something along those lines there's a direct application to the technical industry.
     
  10. Dec 27, 2005 #9
    So there are no companies that do scientific research specifically but technology and engineering companies that have labs and scientific research departments?
     
  11. Dec 28, 2005 #10

    Dr Transport

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    As Integral said, they are called universities.

    Every large corporation has a reseach arm, but you will work projects of their choosing. In some cases such as IBM Fellow etc, you'll get work on projects that you want without interfererence from the top. To get these positions, you 'll work there for many years doing the grunt work and having to keep up with your chosen field on the side. If you are lucky enough to get a position doing something close to what you want intellectually you might be able to publish a paper or two every couple of years and maybe become a member of the technical staff sooner, but those positions are far and few between and limited to a certain small number (for instance there is a limit of approximately 100 senior technical fellows in my company out of a working population in excess of 300,000 employees). If you get a position with a US company working Defense contracts, most of your work will be either classified or corporate limited, in either case forget publishing a word, either you'll be thrown in jail or fired for leaking corporate secrets. In any case, if you choose to publish, even outside of work on your own, most likely you will have to clear it with your employer because they own your intellectual property.
     
  12. Dec 28, 2005 #11

    ZapperZ

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    There is one missing aspect of the discussion here, and it is something that I have been involved with, even if indirectly.

    A number of US Govt. agencies have something called SBIR - Small Business Innovation Research funding. Examples of US Govt. agencies having such a thing: Dept. of Energy and Dept. of Defense.

    http://sbir.er.doe.gov/sbir/

    SBIR grants are given to small business to do research work and innovations in areas in which major for-profit companies aren't willing to go into due to either high-risk, uncertain profitability, or just not enough demand for innovation in such an area. Often, these are areas in which the research community has a need for, but companies see very little profit. This could include research in accelerator waveguides, development of polarized electron sources, etc. In many instances, these companies partner with a particular program at a US Nat'l Laboratory, providing direct support for that program, and vise versa. So it's a symbiotic relationship.

    So yes, there are many small businesses whose major existence is in innovation and scientific/technical research. Needless to say, they don't employ that many people since the nature of their size indicates that they don't make quite a large profit.

    Zz.
     
  13. Dec 28, 2005 #12

    Astronuc

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    I presume you mean that there are no companies that specifically do 'basic research'.

    Southwest Research Institute does do basic research, but perhaps mostly applied research, or research in applied technology.

    Another organization Southern Research Institute (SRI - http://www2.southernresearch.org/) also exists to basic research, but they have tended to specialize in medicine. I visited their labs in Birmingham, AL about 20 years ago to learn about their research in high temperature materials. SRI was one of the few commercial organizations (but non-profit), i.e. outside of the national laboratories, doing some innovative research in high temperature materials.

     
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