Student new to Physics

Frozenoak
Frozenoak
Joined: 5 May 07
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Topic 192698

I have just returned to college. I have spent the better part of 31 years wondering about how the world/universe was held together. Finally, fed up with the frustration of not being able to understand books, journals, and posts, I have decided that Physics is the path I want to take.

I am now wondering what area of Physics to study. I am intensely interested in (experimental?)Gravitation and Magnetics with some interest in fluid and aero dynamics (is there a Dynamic in Space/vacuum?). Is there a call for people with degrees in Gravitation or Magnetics or should I focus on Dynamics?

If the powers that be are kind I will be transferring to Caltech as a sophomore soon. If they are slightly less than kind I will be going to Cal Poly, Pomona.

If this is the wrong forum for asking for this type of advice please feel free to remove this post.

Regards,
dale

Rod
Rod
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Student new to Physics

Quote:

I have just returned to college. I have spent the better part of 31 years wondering about how the world/universe was held together. Finally, fed up with the frustration of not being able to understand books, journals, and posts, I have decided that Physics is the path I want to take.

I am now wondering what area of Physics to study. I am intensely interested in (experimental?)Gravitation and Magnetics with some interest in fluid and aero dynamics (is there a Dynamic in Space/vacuum?). Is there a call for people with degrees in Gravitation or Magnetics or should I focus on Dynamics?

If the powers that be are kind I will be transferring to Caltech as a sophomore soon. If they are slightly less than kind I will be going to Cal Poly, Pomona.

If this is the wrong forum for asking for this type of advice please feel free to remove this post.

Regards,
dale

This is my opinion only:-) But you need to know how far you want to go. If you are planning an undergraduate degree only I would go through the Applied Physics Program at CalTech. This would give you a well rounded education in physics and would probably be employed at any place. If you are interested in experimental research in Physics you would probably need to do graduate work. For an undergraduate degree it not until your third or fourth year do you really focus your dicipline giving your second year time to decide.

Let me stress this is my opinion only. As my nephew states when i tried to give him college advice you are talking out your hat :)

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

Frozenoak
Frozenoak
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Thanks for the reply. I

Thanks for the reply.

I fully intend to get my Doctorate. I am just unsure of what to specialize in. I would like to make a decision some time this summer since most of the applications for scholarships seem to want to know and I don't want to mislead them and loose the scholarship later.

Rod
Rod
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RE: Thanks for the

Message 64022 in response to message 64021

Quote:

Thanks for the reply.

I fully intend to get my Doctorate. I am just unsure of what to specialize in. I would like to make a decision some time this summer since most of the applications for scholarships seem to want to know and I don't want to mislead them and loose the scholarship later.

Sorry I can't be more help because what you want to do is in your heart in other words what problem would you like to solve. I am just an engineer. If I would have to do it all over again I would specialize in Plasmas(Fluids) and solve the fusion energy problem. But I would try to get into MIT :)

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

tullio
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RE: Sorry I can't be more

Message 64023 in response to message 64022

Quote:

Sorry I can't be more help because what you want to do is in your heart in other words what problem would you like to solve. I am just an engineer. If I would have to do it all over again I would specialize in Plasmas(Fluids) and solve the fusion energy problem. But I would try to get into MIT :)


Plasma physics is well understood by now. Building a working nuclear fusion experimental reactor such as ITER to be built at Cadarache in France by an international cooperation is a huge engineering problem, so that a nuclear engineering degree could be more useful. But I advice a student to study what he likes more independently from other considerations.
Tullio

Nereid
Nereid
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RE: Thanks for the

Message 64024 in response to message 64021

Quote:

Thanks for the reply.

I fully intend to get my Doctorate. I am just unsure of what to specialize in. I would like to make a decision some time this summer since most of the applications for scholarships seem to want to know and I don't want to mislead them and loose the scholarship later.


Have you come across Physics Forums yet? There are a large number of physics enthusiasts there, with a very wide range of ages, interests, depth of training etc in physics, ... You might find some interesting people there, as well as get some good advice on where to go, what to study, etc.

Frozenoak
Frozenoak
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No, but I should have thought

No, but I should have thought of it. I have joined the Science forum but for some reason I hadn't thought of the Physics forum.

Thanks for the advice.
dale

Frozenoak
Frozenoak
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That was exactly what I was

That was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.

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