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Theoretical or Experimental Applied Physics?

  1. Dec 26, 2012 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I'm considering becoming an Applied Physicist. I just need some help. Here are the questions I would like answered.

    -What would a Theoretical Applied Physicist research?

    -What would a Experimental Applied Physicist research?

    -Which one would have more of a likely hood of working in research at a university?

    -Which one would have more of a likely hood of becoming a professor and having research on the side?

    Thank you :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Out of curiosity: What is a "Theoretical Applied Physicist"?
    Google just gives 12 hits, 5 of them are some obscure non-english text, some sites list them as two different options and the first hit I see is this thread (google is quick!).

    Do you have any specific field in mind, if you consider "applied physics"? Physics is applied in many different fields.
  4. Dec 26, 2012 #3
    google applied physics research, standford, columbia, utexas, ucolorado, umichigan have full on phd programs under the name applied physics; they tend to be experimental condensed matter and nuclear physics and they mix with engineering but there's lots of other areas.
  5. Dec 26, 2012 #4
    I was looking at Caltech's website and it said they have courses for both. So, it could just mean Applied Physics is put into one category?
  6. Dec 26, 2012 #5
    I just looked further into this..Yeah, Applied Physics is both Theoretical and Experimental it seems.
  7. Jan 29, 2013 #6


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    Under my conception applied physics is more like physic engineering.
    There're 3 division: theoretical, experimental and applied.
  8. Jan 29, 2013 #7
    I see it more as a two dimensional space. One dimension is spanned by "Pure"/Applied. The other is spanned by Theoretical/Experimental. Each research project has its own value for how pure vs applied it is and for how theoretical vs experimental it is. There is theoretical applied physics and there is also experimental pure physics, and of course the other common combinations as well.
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