1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What Physics degree would be best for me?

  1. Jul 29, 2016 #1
    I like physics because of the formulas, explaining nature in terms of maths (I love math), I love problem solving and it's just so diverse. You learn about subjects from materials to astronomy it's just learning about how stuff works. So topics I like:
    Any mechanics
    Nuclear Power
    Generating power
    a little bit of Engineering
    Basically literally my whole a-level course BUT, particles and wave nature. I like concrete evidence and answers. I do not believe in the whole standard model thing. I don't really want to discuss this here I just want to know if I should still do physics, if I can avoid quantum mechanics and which degree would be best for me. E.G, Mathematical Physics, Theoretical or just plain Physics. And is it still really diverse at degree level like do you still do electricity??
    Recently I've been thinking I just want to do a plain physics degree which would include a mixture of everything including lab work. I don't mind Labs. Which brings me to ask, what do you do in the lab at degree level physics?
    Will I be able to avoid quantum mechanics? Hopefully it's just a small chunk of the degree. I'd also like to avoid relativity too.
    I would be an engineer but I decided the context is actually quite boring. I don't want to build bridges and machines!!

    Thanks a lot :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2016 #2
    Do you plan on continuing physics into graduate school or just obtaining a bachelors degree? If it's the former, quantum mechanics and relativity will be your bread and butter, learn to love them. As for just obtaining your bachelors, you will need to do some quantum mechanics, but not a tremendous amount.

    Also, from your post it seems you are dismissive of quantum mechanics because it lacks 'concrete evidence and answers'. Rest assured, the more you continue your education you will find this to be false.
  4. Jul 30, 2016 #3
    Just a bachelors degree.

    Even so I just don't like it but i can put up with a bit.
  5. Jul 30, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Your goal in physics should never be a terminal bachelors degree. In that case you're much better off studying engineering.

    As far as a distaste for QM, you probably don't have a clear picture of what the subject really entails yet.
  6. Jul 30, 2016 #5

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Dismissing something without knowing anything about it (and something whose discovery produced ~30 Nobel prizes) suggests that you would be a really poor scientist. Apart from the fact that you can't avoid quantum mechanics, this indicates physics - or science in general - would be a very poor choice for you.

    That crosses off engineering.

    With science and engineering gone, you might want to think about humanities.
  7. Jul 30, 2016 #6
    This is an important thing though. Do you not want to do quantum mechanics/relativity/standard model issues because you think they are incorrect, or merely because you think you don't like them?
  8. Jul 30, 2016 #7
    Oh for god sake I said I didn't want to talk about this HERE. Well thanks for your help guys (!)
  9. Jul 30, 2016 #8
    Pathetic. Can't even get a simple answer to a simple question.
  10. Jul 30, 2016 #9
    But it's important. Quantum mechanics and relativity are a huge part of any physics degree. So finding out why you want to avoid those is important.
  11. Jul 30, 2016 #10
  12. Jul 30, 2016 #11
    I'm not interested in it. I'd obviously like to do more of what I like and less of what I don't like so I just wanted to know what degree entails my interests.
  13. Jul 30, 2016 #12
    OK, you're not interested in it. But how did you assess that? What do you already know of quantum mechanics? I find it hard to believe a high school student can from an accurate opinion of what quantum mechanics is like!
  14. Jul 30, 2016 #13
    How about I don't want to learn about particles? I mean some physicists don't like electricity so what's the problem if I don't like particular topics?
  15. Jul 30, 2016 #14
    Is this what the people in my physics degree are going to be like. I might just do maths.
  16. Jul 30, 2016 #15
    Sure, some physicists don't like electricity. But they still damn know it well. You can be a physicist and dislike a topic, but that is different from actively avoiding the topic and not wanting to learn it at all!

    And again, how do you know you don't like a topic?

    Good luck with that attitude! "Hey professor, I don't really like real analysis, so I want to skip it"
  17. Jul 30, 2016 #16

    What's the point, clearly doesnt seem like anyone really wants to help or I would've got an answer by now. All I need is "well for those topics the best degree would be..."
    I give up.
  18. Jul 30, 2016 #17
    The problem is that there is no degree satisfying the constraints you just put in.
  19. Jul 30, 2016 #18
    Okay thanks. Some piece of information that actually helps. But I guess it's true, I should put up a bit with stuff I don't like
  20. Jul 30, 2016 #19

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Here's the thing. You did get an answer to your question. You might not like the answer, but that doesn't mean you didn't get one. And the answer is that you can't get a degree in physics without learning QM. You also can't get a degree in engineering without learning about structures and machines, and you can't get a degree at all without having to learn something somewhere that you won't like.
  21. Jul 30, 2016 #20
    Well actually that wasn't the answer I got the first time "go do humanities"

    I guess I missed out a bit of information. I'll put up with it if it's a small part of the course, that's fine. But all I was saying is based on my likes and guess what DISLIKES because that's part of being human, which degree from all the varieties out there would be best for me. You just got all defensive about particle physics. Again I mentioned this in the beginning, I didn't want to discuss this here. If you want to talk about it I think you can private message on this site?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted