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Theoretical physicist?

  1. May 2, 2010 #1
    I just saw a show by Stephen Hawking about how the universe came to be and what it is now and I was really interested. I guess I have two questions. First, what would one study or major in during college to do stuff like what he's doing? Second, what kind of jobs do these people get and what's the job market like, salary, etc.?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2010 #2
    It is so difficult to answer
  4. May 3, 2010 #3
    There are hundreds of threads like this, just do a search for "theoretical physics".

    What you'll find is a pessimistic atmosphere reporting roughly thus:

    - the salary isn't particularly good
    - jobs are few and far between
    - the jobs that exist are extremely competitive

    As for what you would study in college: physics + math, though you should always be cautious of popular science programmes/books - unless you're qualified it's extremely difficult to appreciate what the actual work would be like. After college, to go into academic research, you'll need a PhD which, in America, can be another ~7 years.
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