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What do you think about this Idea

  1. Jun 10, 2008 #1
    Hello, I stumbled onto this site because I was looking about how to become a physicist some how and really I need some advice what is a smart move for me. Right now I am in high school taking all of my classes and staying along with what I want to do. I always had an interest in science ever since elementary school. In fifth grade I asked if we could learn physics! but now I have learned to be patient but I feel like I am running out of time with what I want to do. I have a very strong liking or even love for physics because it just is great to answering questions that I have always wanted answers to and I can just help me understand and try to answer some very hard questions where no one has any answer to. Although there is another passion of mine that I have which may seem silly but also something I have had so much caring for. Ever since I was little I liked to play video games and I love computer also. I like playing around and making my own maps for various games even though they are not that great. Is there any career choice that can combine both to not just make a video game per say but maybe a very very well made physics engine for a computer for a multitude of uses from just making models and predictions but also practical form of entertainment or something of the sort. What would you say would be the best collage for me if I wanted to become a physicist in a theoretical and maybe a traditional field? Or just tell me if it is a good idea or not and why. I just am not sure if I can enjoy my future.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 11, 2008 #2


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    OK this may sound very cliche, but: if you really like physics, just go for it. Choosing a career path now based on what you think will be needed (economically, etc) in 6 years from now will generally not work. Also, if you aren't 100% committed to what you do, you will probably drop out somewhere along the way. If, however, you get an education in a field you really like, it will be much easier to finish (even if the education itself is harder) and in the end there will always be a related job for you somewhere.

    At my university, physics, mathematics and computer sciences are all inter-related and there are several special combinations one can choose. This means that one takes something like 20% more courses, but gets two bachelor degrees (e.g. both physics and mathematics, or mathematics and computer sciences, etc). You can of course just contact a university (or several) of your choice and ask them if they have something similar. Just get in touch with the counselor / study advisor / whatever they're called, and explain your situation. Most colleges are able and willing to make a special program if you indicate that you want something a bit different.

    In the end, if you have to choose between physics and computer programming, I'd go for physics. Especially since you indicated that your interest is mostly there. A lot of software companies accept both physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists just because of the type of education (problem solving skills, analytical thinking, etc). It's much easier to learn programming e.g. through self-study or internships, than it is to learn physics while programming.

    That's just my opinion though, but I seriously recommend you to see a professional about this (e.g. a study advisor at a university).
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