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Specialising in both physics and electrical engineering

  1. Jan 10, 2010 #1
    Hi, I've recently finished school and have applied to study a combined degree in Physics and Electrical Engineering. I was just wondering what advantages (or disadvantages) this double specialisation would have for a career in physics as opposed to studying physics alone?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 10, 2010 #2


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    It depends on the area of physics.
    A lot of the day-to-day work I do is essentially electrical engineering (e.g designing microwave circuitry), the reason why it is considered physics and not EE is simply that my aim is to design samples and perform experiments to learn new things about nature as opposed to e.g. selling more phones. My MSc was in engineering physics (which to a large extent IS exactly physics+EE) and I have definitely benefited from having studied things like control theory etc which are often not included in "pure" physics program.
    Hence, if you go into experimental physics it might even be an advantage to have a background in EE. But again, it really depends on what you end up doing.
  4. Jan 13, 2010 #3
    If you want to do "applied physics" (i.e. physics with quasi-near term industrial/commercial applications), then EE would be very beneficial so that you can get an idea of how fundamental physical theories lead to engineering technologies. Two major examples of where this overlap has beneficial were in semiconductor devices and lasers. These are two areas where the workers pool draws from both physics and electrical engineering.

    On the other hand, if you want to do something like theoretical particle physics or signals processing, then it may be more beneficial to concentrate on either one over the other. Like it says in the foregoing post, it all depends.
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