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Programs What should I study/specialize in if I want to work with fusion?

Hello everyone. I've always wanted to be a scientist, and in recent years I've figured out that I want to be a physicist. What are of physics has been a little harder to figure out, since there are a lot of areas that interest me, however, recently I have been getting more and more excited about fusion reactors. I am very drawn to the idea of nearly limitless clean energy for everyone, and even though there is a possibility that we'll never make fusion reactor work efficiently enough for them to be economically viable, I still would love to work in that field.

My question is, what should I study if I want to work in that field? I've heard that a lot of engineers get jobs as scientists working with machines like the Large Hadron Collider. Is this true? Would I then be better off majoring in engineering over pure physics? What about Engineering Physics (which one of the schools I'd like to get into gives as a major)? Would it be a good starting point? Also, in what area of physics should I do my master's and Ph.D.?

I know it's a lot of questions but I'd really appreciate the help.

TL;DR: I want to work with fusion reactors. What should I major/specialize in?
 

Dr Transport

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LHC has nothing to do with fusion, better specialize in plasma physics and electromagnteics.
 
LHC has nothing to do with fusion, better specialize in plasma physics and electromagnteics.
I mentioned the LHC as an example of engineers getting jobs as scientists, not because it has anything to do; I should have clarified more. I've heard that a lot of people working on the LHC are engineers, is that true? If so, would fusion reactors be similar in that they hire a lof of engineers? If that is the case, should I major in pure physics, or some type of engineering?

Sorry for the confusion.
 

Orodruin

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I've heard that a lot of people working on the LHC are engineers, is that true?
Yes, but they are working mainly with the engineering aspects.
 

boneh3ad

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I have a PhD in an engineering field (aerospace engineering, specifically) and worked for a while doing fusion research. It was not a "nuts-and-bolts" kind of job where I designed/built a machine and let the "real" scientists do research with it, but an actual research position. Engineers fill both roles. As someone with a background in fluid mechanics, I was running fluids experiments to help understand the fluid physics involved in the problem.

There were a very wide array of scientists working the research side of this and adjacent problems, with varied backgrounds such as: plasma physics, electromagnetics, engineering (primarily fluid mechanics, electrical, materials), astrophysics, chemistry, applied mathematics, and I am sure plenty whom I've forgotten.

Generally, there are multiple paths to the same end goal. Study the aspect(s) of the problem that interest(s) you and tailor your specialization within that field toward fusion.
 
I have a PhD in an engineering field (aerospace engineering, specifically) and worked for a while doing fusion research. It was not a "nuts-and-bolts" kind of job where I designed/built a machine and let the "real" scientists do research with it, but an actual research position. Engineers fill both roles. As someone with a background in fluid mechanics, I was running fluids experiments to help understand the fluid physics involved in the problem.

There were a very wide array of scientists working the research side of this and adjacent problems, with varied backgrounds such as: plasma physics, electromagnetics, engineering (primarily fluid mechanics, electrical, materials), astrophysics, chemistry, applied mathematics, and I am sure plenty whom I've forgotten.

Generally, there are multiple paths to the same end goal. Study the aspect(s) of the problem that interest(s) you and tailor your specialization within that field toward fusion.
Thanks

Thanks! That was very helpful. I'm still figuring out what I am most interested in, but it's good to know I can still get into experimental physics even if I don't study pure physics.
 

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