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Where too now?

  1. Jan 4, 2008 #1
    Hey guys,

    i just finished year 12 a couple of weeks ago where i took specialist maths, for those not familiar: this subject gives a pretty basic introduction to vectors, vector calculus, integration techniques, differentition techniques (like implicit), complex numbers, differential equations, kinematics and dynamics.

    At university i want to either study phyics or engineering, am still a little uncertain.

    I have been trying to find some books that i can download to get a further head start for uni but im not sure which areas of maths i should be focussing on...

    What would a physics/engineering student usually begin to learn after a basic introduction to these subjects? there are so many different topics!!

    Anyways if anyone had links to downloadable books for the topics they suggest that would be great, or if anyone has any links to more in-depth books on the subjects i have done (i.e. not beginner ones but i guess intermediate) that would be great!

    Thanks heaps and Happy New Year!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2008 #2
    I have the similiar dilemma to yours, i'm worried that if I study engineering i wont be able to follow up my interests in quantum mechanics, einsteins theories and the universe! etc. But I'm also worried that if I do a physics degree i'll end up in a random career that I don't like.

    Sorry I couldnt be of help I just found it wierd how just as I was going to post a thread like yours, someone else did on the other side of the world!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  4. Jan 4, 2008 #3
    Don't worry. I studied Physics and ended up working for a bank.
  5. Jan 4, 2008 #4
    why would a bank employ someone with a physics degree?
  6. Jan 4, 2008 #5
    why wouldn't a bank employ someone with a physics degree?
  7. Jan 4, 2008 #6
    what do you mean don't worry??? That's exactly WHAT I
    am worried about!!! I have absolutely no interest in banking and would hate to work in one.

    But again does anyone have any book suggestions.

    Also to tommyburgey... You have describedmy situation better than I could have! But I have to decide in a few days :( because university starts soon.
  8. Jan 4, 2008 #7
    Oh dear, well if I had to choose now I would do physics, ideally end up doing something like medical physics as my teacher thinks that you can earn a lot there. Although I heard it's mainly an office job :(
    Anyway I'm sure the uni would let you swap from engineering to physics or vice versa if you realise you chose the wrong one...but I don't really know anything about this, I'm just speculating, you should contact the university and see if it would be possible.
    Sorry I can't be of more help.
  9. Jan 4, 2008 #8
    yes the course which is my first preference is a very flexible one at the university of Melbourne. You can interchange between the new science degree and the engineering degree almost seemlessly until end of second year, provided ofcourse you take some certain classes. Just hope I get in now lol
  10. Jan 5, 2008 #9

    how does one branch from a physics degree into medical physics? Does he have to go through med school after the physics degree? Just curious, what degrees does it take to be a medical phycist?
  11. Jan 5, 2008 #10
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  12. Jan 6, 2008 #11
    Someone needs to keep the place clean.

    Also, physics people are comfortable with numbers.
  13. Jan 6, 2008 #12
    also once you branch out from technical fields job requirement become a bit more flexible. Unlike physics, math, engineering etc. it doesn't take 4 years to learn how to be competent in business for the most part if you've got a brain and motivation you can do it.

    the average person switches careers 4 times in there lives, I know lumberjacks who've become accountants, actors who now work in the federal reserve, and an art history major who now runs a sales account in excess of $50 million
  14. Jan 6, 2008 #13
    University of Melbourne


    I finished an Arts & Science degree at Melb Uni.. (phys and philosophy major)

    Here's a list of some of the books I used in first year:

    Elementary Linear Algebra, Venit & Bishop, Fourth Ed
    Calculus: Concepts and Contexts, Stewart, Second Ed

    Fundamentals of Physics, Halliday, Resnick & Walker

    (note: this was in 2004 so it may have changed a bit since then)

    Good books and gives an alright intro into physics..
  15. Jan 7, 2008 #14
    Actually after I graduated I wasn't really interested in doing physics as a career. I more enjoyed the subject in school. I guess I was burned out by then.

    In the bank I work in the MIS department as a data analyst. I pull reports, and we prepare them for the business. In all, it's good work. I'm looking to prepare for going back to get my Masters in Physics, since I probably could end up teaching or something like that. I have an interest in lasers, and possibly EM, but have to see how that goes.

    I know for me, I have no interest in biophysics. I'm more interested in light and electricity/magnetism.

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2008
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