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Articles on Physics:
   Physics Major...A Closer Look
   Path to a Physics Degree

Physics Major...A Closer Look

By Misty Sneddon

photo Understanding the Laws of Nature as well as the relationship between energy and matter is the study of physics. Physics majors are instructed to approach this field of science in a problem solving way. Often a physicist will use formulas, primarily math-based, to come to scientific conclusions. Physicists study the fundamentals of how the world works, and thus the field is the foundation for geology, biology and chemistry. Physicists developed MRI and PET scans, televisions, radios, computers, transistors, and the World Wide Web. Physicists are often associated with genius because of people like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein; however, it’s not a pre-requisite for the job. The key traits needed are analytical intelligence, curiosity and drive.

Majoring in Physics starts with a four-year degree. However, many Physics majors apply the knowledge in ongoing education, often in different fields of study. Many scientists have a BA in Physics and a Master’s or Doctorate in Biology or Chemistry. Other students will
get a Master’s in Education, which enables them to teach Physics at the high school and junior college level. Physics instructors are currently in high demand. Other students decide to pursue a double major like Physics and Engineering. Another option is to minor in something separate from Physics. This will better prepare you for a career upon graduating, particularly if you choose not to further your education.

Classes a Physics major can expect to take are similar to mechanics, statistical physics, heat and electromagnetism, waves and thermal physics, quantum physics, special relativity, cosmic horizons, linear algebra, calculus, black holes, experimental astronomy, differential equations, bioinstrumentation, the nature of the universe, experimental optics, and electricity and magnetism.

Physicists make anywhere from $80,000 to $130,000 a year. Here is a list of potential careers those with a degree in Physics may pursue:

• Computer Programmer
• Cost Estimator
• K-12 School Teacher
• Physicist
• Mathematician
• Survey Researcher
• Occupational Health Specialist
• Geophysicist
• Industrial Engineer
• Alzheimer’s Researcher
• Aerospace Engineer
• Hydrologist
• Gravity Researcher
• Financial Manager
• Electrical Engineer
• College Professor
• Logistician
• Science Communicator
• Meteorologist
• Seismologist
• Satellite Engineer
• Particle Physicist
• Laser Fusion Scientist
• Solar Energy Physicist
• Radar Project Manager
• Ice Scientist