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Studying physics in universities

  1. Mar 17, 2004 #1
    A couple of questions...please help to answer =)

    Assuming i have gotten my degree, and i studied physics, is it possible to further my studies to the Masters' level studying things like black holes, in depth quantum mechanics and relativity; and then join a research team and do research on the topics i mentioned above while, probably, after my Masters', write a thesis to prepare for the Ph.d?

    Im asking this because the topics i mentioned don't seem to be covered sufficiently/extensively in an ordinary physics course in colledge. I'm rather concerned for my career, in the future; in my country none of the universities offer a course in theoretical physics, so i wonder if an education in colledge physics has what's needed to study, research and work on the topics i mentioned above.(i.e stuff from theoretical phycics).

    Since most of the reknown physicsts have a Ph.d in theoretical physics, does it mean they have to start studying theoretical physics, exclusively, right from the degree stage to prepare for theoretical physics work later on in their life?

    Is it impossible/difficult to go on to take up theoretical physics in colledge right after studying ordinary physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2004 #2


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    While the exact course work varies from university to university I believe that the normal approach is that for an undergrad degree you get the first time through for Classical, Quantum and Statistical Mechanics as well as Electro Magnetism. In conjunction with these subjects you will be expected to be taking mathematics, ODE and PDE in addition to vector calculus.

    The first 2 years of grad school will simply be a 2nd time through of the same material plus any specialization courses. The last 2 years will be spend doing research and additional course work in your specialty. Math is a constant, of course, you must be taking the math courses which are required to fully comprehend your physics courses.

    The difference between Theoretical and Experimental physicist comes in the final years of the PhD work.
  4. Mar 18, 2004 #3
    Many thanks for your taking of time off to reply.

    So you're saying that if i continously take up maths modules during my course of study(physics), then i can, in the later stages of my life, study/research/work on stuff categorised under the title theoreteical physics eventhough i took up a course, explictly state as physics, and not theoretical physics?
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