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The job of a theoretical physicist

  1. Aug 30, 2008 #1
    I had some questions in my mind due to lack of experience... experienced people can give answers to this post... :)

    I often wonder, what theoretical physicists do on for years and years...
    Do they sit at home with a pen and paper and think?
    Are they focused more on academics or research?
    Do they work in teams or do they work alone?
    and many more questions...

    Please enlighten me ;)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2008 #2


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    "Do they sit at home with a pen and paper and think?"

    Basically, but reading papers that are being published each day is also a huge part of the work involved.

    "Are they focused more on academics or research?"

    There are institutions where physicists can just focus on their research without having to burden themselves with teaching at a university and all the tasks that come with the professor position. So basically, some of the most gifted physicists are able to focus on research, but most have teaching responsibilities.

    "Do they work in teams or do they work alone?"

    Some work alone, especially if they are pursuing a very unpopular approach to the problem they are trying to solve. But groups are more common.
  4. Aug 31, 2008 #3
    From what I see not all jobs are academic,but most require exp.
    For example you could work at LANL,but they require something like 10 year of research.
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