Were you addicted to the FX series Devs?

Did you ever wonder how the quantum computer worked?

Quantum computer that challenges the ideas of time and reality

Did you get sucked into HBO's Westworld and its super computer contemplating free will?

An andriod is fixed to a circular structure

Or did you identify with Sheldon Cooper's love for physics in the hit TV show "The Big Bang Theory"?

Sheldon Cooper works at physics

If you answered yes to any of these questions and have an endless curiosity about how the world works, a career as a physicist may be for you!

Two Paths In Physics

There are two general paths in physics: applied and theoretical.

A screwdriver and wrench Applied: use physics to solve practical problems in the here and now. There is a practical goal. For example, designing a more cost efficient car with less drag and more horsepower.

A head with a question mark Theoretical: ask the big questions in life. For example, how did life evolve from nonliving matter?

Quiz

Which of the following is an example of theoretical physics?

What Physicists Do

Math equations float in front of a man's face.

  • Develop scientific theories that explain natural phenomena.

  • Use complex mathematical equations to explain discoveries in astronomy.

  • Plan and conduct scientific experiments testing different properties of matter and energy.

  • Write proposals and apply for research funding.

  • Design new scientific equipment and develop computer software to analyze data.

  • Write scientific papers to publish in scholarly journals.

  • Present research findings at conferences.

Work Environment

Physicists held about 18, 200 jobs in The United States in 2019.

A pie chart explaining different work fields for physicists

Physics Is For You

Two physicists play with bubbles

  • If you enjoy hands on experiments.

  • If you are curious about everything!

  • If you like to ask hard, open-ended questions.

  • If you enjoy problem solving.

Quiz

You should be a physicist if the thought of using the equation Fr = v √gℓ :

Think Twice

Young woman thinking

You might not want this career if:

  • math is your enemy.

  • memorizing formulas, theories, and principlesis impossible.

  • abstract concepts do not interest you.

  • you don't often wonder how anything works.

Who Is The Future Physicist?

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Olivia loves softball and uses a computer program to analyze the speed, spin, and path of pitches.

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Dave is fascinated by bridges and wonders if it's possible to create a bridge from California all the way to Hawaii!

Flaticon Icon Tiffany is an amateur astronomer who stares at the stars through her telescope and reads everything she can find about what stars are made of.

Quiz

The future physicist is . . .

What's The Salary?

Flaticon Icon In the US, the median income for a physicist is 114, 590 USD.

Flaticon Icon In Canada, the median income for a physicist is 77, 146 CAD.

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This Byte has been authored by

LR

Lonette Robertson

Veteran Teacher | Instructional Designer