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The field of condensed matter

  1. Aug 25, 2015 #1
    I have just been accepted to pursue an advanced degree (Masters) in Physics with a specialization in condensed matter.

    I have some questions regarding this field (Google results are somewhat outdated).

    (1) What exactly does a condensed matter physicist study? I know it is the study of condensed states of matter - namely solid, liquid. However, what aspects of these states are interesting? Is there a fair bit of Quantum Mechanics involved?

    (2) Initially I wanted to go into engineering (MASc) from my bachelors - however this is easier said than done. I got many refusals due to not having the prerequisites. From what I read online - condensed matter physics is the closest branch of physics you can get to engineering. In other words - the branch with the most applications. The reason I ask is because I want to go into industry and application and move away from academia after my Masters. Are these things true? Is it fairly 'easy' to get a job in industry with a MSc in Condensed matter?

    (3) I guess this is a follow up from the last question - how in-demand are condensed matter physicists nowadays - and what is the future prospect of this field? I, again, read online that it is one of the most 'in-demand' fields in physics next to medical physics- true?

    I love physics - however, I would feel at ease with some kind of job prosperity in the future. By the way I am in living in Germany and that is where I will be looking for work after my Masters (possibly PhD).
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2015 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    "Condensed matter physics" has moved beyond the traditional focus of solid state and now encompasses 'soft matter', and the range of phenomena under study has also increased greatly. So, without knowing more about the folks offering your program, it's hard to know what your options are. A more-or-less standard textbook is here:


    Here in the US, there's a huge industrial 'pool' to find a job: companies like PPG, Proctor & Gamble, L'Oreal, Unilever, etc, need that expertise for a wide range of consumer products, for example. Any company that manufactures, packages and ships products formulated in a colloidal, granular, foamy, or emulsive (?) format are potential employers as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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