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Physics What physics specialization I should do?

  1. Oct 12, 2011 #1
    i am currently an undergraduate studying physics and i've started to wonder about the future.

    i'm not really sure what field of physics i want to be in once i have gained more education and have become a true "Physicist." i know that i should do internships or lab research to try to discover what i will truly love but i am behind in my degree and time does not really permit me to do those things currently. i want to do something exciting yet fulfilling and my dream is to be involved in some ground breaing discovery that reshapes the very foundation of the understanding of our physical universe (which may sound silly).

    The universe fascinates me and dream of a way to figure out how to break the limitations of space travel (lie figuring out a means to travel faster than light which i now everyone says is impossible but i believe they are wrong even if Einsteins say it's not possible). That is why i thought that astrophysics would be right for me but i don't want to merely stare through a telescope and write down observations (please tell me if there's more to astrophysics than that).

    So i guess what i'm asking is what can i expect from some of the specialized fields of physics (both theoretical and experimental)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2011 #2
    hey! even my dreams r same like u! doing something EPIC that brings a revolution in physics and world!
    i suggest u do astrophysics if u like. its not just abt staring thru a miscroscope. or else go for quantum physics
  4. Oct 13, 2011 #3


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    OK. Let's take a step back. What year are you? How far behind are you? I ask because you seriously need to get some type of research internship. Regardless if you are behind in you degree, you need an internship more than most because your post shows that you have no idea how physics research is done, what research is like, and what is possible and practical.

    It is a bad idea to base your career and studies in physics around the idea that you are going to be the center of some groundbreaking new result. That said, it's possible to find some real field of research that you find worthwhile and enthralling. This is why you need to research what physicists actually study and get some idea of what physics research actually is like.

    Astrophysics involves more than just "staring through a telescope," of course. However, I doubt the "more" in this case is actually what you expect. I'll let someone who works in astrophysics give the details about what they do.

    Have you read, "So, You Want to be a Physicist?" https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=240792
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  5. Oct 13, 2011 #4
    Instead of picking your field based on the romanticized vision you have redefining the world and discovering ultimate truth, you should pick the field that you have a legitimate interest in. Geniuses don't have a goal to have statues made in their honor, they have a unique lense through which they view the world, which is driven by an intense passion. I am sensing that perhaps you are working backwards. And by that I mean you may be seeing a goal and trying to find a way for it to materialize, instead of observing what's in front of you and seeing where it leads. Or maybe not.
  6. Oct 13, 2011 #5
    if it is not part of astrophyiscs, what field of physics do you need to study to get involved in unified field theory/theory of everything or string theory?
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