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Theoretical physics after physics?

  1. Feb 27, 2010 #1
    Theoretical physics after physics??

    Hey all
    I am going to do Physics bachelors course (UCAS F300).But i do like theoretical physics due to financial problems i cannot go any university which having theoretical physics courses.But i got a university which having only Physics courses i mean no theoretical physics.So i wanna know is it possible to do masters in theoretical physics after get a physics degree (F300)??.I am an international student by the way

    Have a nice day
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2010 #2
    Re: Theoretical physics after physics??

    I think it's probably better if as an undergraduate you *don't* specialize in theoretical physics. If you want to be a good physics theorist, you need to understand the process of physics observation. This is hard to do as a graduate student, so as an undergraduate, it's a good idea to have lots of exposure to experimental physics.
  4. Feb 27, 2010 #3
    Re: Theoretical physics after physics??

    I'd agree with twofish_quant if you actually want to become a professional theoretical physicist. However, if you just want to do a masters, I'd disagree.

    Personally, I went from straight physics to theoretical physics - the experimental skills I picked up haven't helped at all with the course I am currently doing. Infact my shortcomings in mathematics have held me back considerably (but to be fair, the TP course I am doing is run by a maths department, so perhaps this is to be expected)
  5. Feb 27, 2010 #4
    Re: Theoretical physics after physics??

    I'm currently in the final year of a four-year physics (UCAS F303) course, and will be going into theoretical physics after this year. I would like to add that taking the straight physics course doesn't necessarily limit you too much, as part of the four year course I had to do a two-year extended research project. At many (most?) universities, there will be a mixture of theoretical and experimental projects on offer, so I have participated in theoretical physics research for a year and a half now.

    I'd also echo what two-fish quant says - the ability to understand and/or propose an experiment is invaluable to a physicist - whether experimental or theoretical. I've certainly found this skill useful, working in a group that has strong experimental links and absolutely invaluable in group seminars / school colloquiums and in suggesting ways to observe phenomena that I've predicted. As vertices says - the skills may not directly help with courses, but this doesn't mean they aren't useful.

    Basically, don't worry about not specialising in theoretical physics. It also leaves some avenues open if you decide that actually theory isn't for you. Try and get some experimental experience anyway - I found it useful and gave me some real insight into the methods and problems associated with measuring real physics.
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