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What role plays chemistry in a physics career

  1. Dec 13, 2004 #1
    Hi there, i am new to this forum, two questions...

    1) what is the difference between physics areas: applied, classical, theortetical, quantum et al.

    2) what role plays chemistry in a physics career, is it necessary to be really skilled in chemistry? sometimes thery overlapp

    Thanks for the advice
    Best regards.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2004 #2
    Well, I am a freshman at Uni. I cannot give you an in depth answer for the first one. [may be other mebers on this thread will come later?] but about the second question:

    Well, the "skills" you need for chem are almost the same skills you need for physics: Handling mathematical equations, good algebra solving ...etc even it varies a little bit in how important each of these skills are in chem and phyis fields.

    My experience tells me that they overlap in some places and it helps you know sometimes how chem look at the thingy to understand how phys look at it, For example gases PV=nRT is a famous topic that physics nad chem share, still. After a while they expaned the gases topics differenlty.

    In short, taking a physics career will not require some body to "love" chem, and thus to take it.
  4. Dec 21, 2004 #3
    Hi there

    thanx moses for your reply

    I was about to start a career in chem next year but decided for electronics instead.
    (indeed i love and will miss chem but electr has to do more with my current job in IT)
    Both of them share math, also phys but strangely with different topics. Sure, there are also plenty of phys-related topics scattered all over.
    Which one of the careers has more of physics or applied-physics stuff ???
    Did i take the right decision?

    BTW: i love physics too :-)
  5. Dec 22, 2004 #4

    Applied physics : Problems that relate to practical situations in society, often similar to engineering. Typically, an applied physicist will spend time in a lab as well as use mathematical models for his system.

    Theoretical physics : This involves both problems that cannot easily be reproduced in experimental conditions, as well as the developpment of new mathematical methods.

    You may also want to mention Experimental Physics, which is somewhat in between, and involves experiments that don't nessecary translate to immediate practical problems.

    Which of these you do basically depends on whether you prefer to spend your time in a lab or doing math, and whether you want to work directly for society or for the physics community.

    As for the two major areas of physics:

    Classical physics involves all the theories and models that were developped before the 20th century, and that continu to evolve.

    Modern physics involves the two important 20th century theories : Quantum mechanics and Relativity. These are needed to model situations were dimension are extremelly small and speeds are extremely high. All classical theories have a modern counterpart which can be used when needed.
  6. Dec 24, 2004 #5
    "Modern physics involves the two important 20th century theories : Quantum mechanics and Relativity"

    In a sense relativistic mechanics is a classical theory as it does not include the uncertainty relations.
  7. Jan 5, 2005 #6
    Hi brothers. Thanx a lot for your explanations
    Happy 2005.
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