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Theoretical Physicist

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#1
Possible job? I suck at English, can never get more than a B. I got the math part covered. I reckon I have a pretty good intuition for theoretical physics. Not sure though.
 
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#2
Do you have any background or education that applies to this job?
 
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#3
Nope. Still in HS, year 10. I just wanna know if it's worth it, and possible to get into in the future.
 
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#4
Would you consider engineering? It seems like the easiest path to guarantee yourself a good job with good pay in the future.
 

Turnevies

Active Member
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#5
I am currently working on my PhD in theoretical physics after I have completed both bachelor and master's degrees first (as required where I live in Europe), so I feel qualified to answer this one. Because I prefer to remain anonymous here, if you want to know more about my own country or subject, please send a pm.

First I want to get this out of the way: you cannot just study theoretical physics only, without learning to do experiments as well. At least if you take the common road of starting with a BSc in physics. When you go through the years, gradually you will get more freedom to take courses that you like. It is technically possible to start a PhD in theoretical physics after a former education in mathematics, engineering or even chemistry, but those alternative paths have, apart of less knowledge in the field, the disadvantages of initially having you not speak the same language as the physicists and not having a network at the physics department to find a position.

It is hard to get a degree in physics, and the Phd itself is also hard (as it should be in any subject), so you need to possess at least a little touch of masochism :D It is worth it though in my opinion, generally exciting and fulfilling. Don't get a wrong expectation though by seeing Stephen Hawking on discovery channel: typically you will plough through a lot of calculational fieldwork, and it is not that everything you come across is new and exciting all the time, that you will get famous and get lots of bitches. I don't know which group is smaller: the people that understand your work or the people that care about your work :p .

After Phd? Academia is a competitive environment, and you shouldn't just assume to remain there the rest of your life to become a professor (even though nothing's wrong with some ambition). But also when leaving academia, finding a decent job is generally not a problem for a physicist. Not only because you will be smart enough to find out how to get a job anyway, but also since you will have obtained general skills such as complex problem solving, programming, some management , presenting results... such jobs will rarely search for physicists only, but there are generally possibilities that overlap with the jobs of either engineers, other scientists such as biologists, or mathematicians.

In general, I certainly recommend the path I've taken so far, though some details may depend on your country.

Btw yes, at some point, English will be anywhere in research. But I've never heard about anyone not succeeding because lack of language skills.
 
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#6
Thanks Turnevies, your input really helps.
 

JR_IsP

Overthinker in Chief
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#7
Hello there! Physics student in here.

Theoretical physics are awesome (at least for me)... but you need a grade first. All around the world the number of jobs for physics are increasing, and trust me, you can see physics in a lot of grounds (even not directly related to physics, like economy).

I personally want to have a PhD in astrophysics and working in a observatory (like ESO, in Chile, the best in the planet (a little ambicious one)), but physics is incredibly large for possible applications. The Turnevies post was very good one, and I don't want to repeat, but still, you need a grade first.

But above all, don't let any online dude change your future, do some research about the career, ask questions, take vocational tests... studying a career is like marriage, except you can't trully divorce from this one, so choose wisely. Good luck!

EDIT: Btw, as you may notice from my location in the left, I'm not from an english speaking country, but even in here, a lot of seminars and courses are in english.
 
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#8
I'm in the middle of an astrophysics PhD (Dark Matter, Theory). Others have said what I would tell you already so I won't say much more. But I'll add that I would never recommend this path if your primarily motivated by financial gains (not saying you are)...or even if you feel obligated simply because you may have a skillset or aptitude for math or some tangential field. Certainly, if you seem to have a propensity for those things its likely worth investigating. But understand that this path is intensive enough that its not worth the time unless you have real passion and dedication.


If you do find such passion though, you'd be hard pressed to find a career more rewarding.

Also, surprising amount of politics in this field... but that should be assumed in any profession as far as I'm concerned.
 

QuickTwist

Soothsayer
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#9
Nope. Still in HS, year 10. I just wanna know if it's worth it, and possible to get into in the future.
Damn, this explains a lot.

Also says I was right about you being a young INTP. I thought you were in college tho so I was more correct than I thought.
 
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#10
For a career aptitude, personality and interests test, my top suggestion was Theoretical Physicist, I should have put that in the OP. Thank you all for your responses.
 

Artsu Tharaz

Resident Resident
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#11
You have not learnt how to fit into the mode in which English is taught which does not mean you suck at it just as someone could understand or not understand maths depending on whether they learnt how to do it and enter that mindset, so I would say do not rule out the humanities side, and there is also psychology which I know you have an interest in. But as I said before university for me has been a let down. So it can be that it dissuades from any option taken. There must be a better way and I want to find it but I don't know what the way is but there are many , they exist , be creative.

What do you want to do theoretical physics for? Will you believe in what you are doing 10 years from now?
 
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#12
I am also into the humanities, I have a knack for analyzing aesthetic pieces such as art and I like political theory, well almost all philosophy given it's theoretical. I find both humanities and the sciences very interesting, but I work best in systems.
 
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#13
big deal about physics, my best friend is graduated in physics and chemestry, good marks and all the shit, and he's got a shitty job making drugs for a big enterprise, he gets half the money i get and his work times are far worse with night shitfs, also he's not ok with smelling drugs all the time, competition, he's stressed all the time
obviously it has to be temporary, he got promoted once and his salary at least increased a bit, perhaps it will happen again so his future will be cooler (i'm almost totally sure of this), also he doesn't look out for possibilities in other countries, etc
in my opinion that's where he fails, he's just too scared to have a look around, call people, try, and something will come eventually, just keep doing stuff, no matter what u decide to study or live from, just fucking invade, take their jobs, do whatever u can
persistance gives u enough to live, talent and singularity sends u beyond
and i tell u malaka, everything in the long run makes u tired, doesn't matter if u have an ideal job, surrounded by nice looking girls, u will get tired of same shit all the time, hearing same bullshit conversations from everyone around u, same faces, it's all annoying.
On the other hand another friend of mine has a degree in cultural management or smth and she's got a super top quality job, confortable, stable, good money, she travels almost every month.
The bad side of her situation is that she's so confortable that her creative self has started to fade out and travels are her escape way, she's angry all the time for no reason, i think it has to do with the mechanical shaping involved after years of Te-Si overstimulation. But if u don't travel inside u first, all the external stimulation is worthless, or at least not as usable as it could be.
I think something related to programming has to be the best choice when u look at: stability, good money and chances, but it doesn't really changes anything.

so stop trying to make sense of everything and just burn my friend. BURN
 

Lazy Vulpes

Useless clutter beneath my name.
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#14
Do you wanna do physics because you're an INTP and that's what you're suppose to do?

Analyze your situation, carefully, very fucking carefully!

Then, what have you not considered, and why?

What is it that makes you content?

I always thought I was gonna be a computer programmer.. I taught myself programming as a 13 year old, and I love making systems. But I will never get a job as a programmer.. Industrialization removes all fun from an art. And programming is an art, so are physics!

What is the best kind of job for you? What kind of job can you enjoy?

Take society into consideration. Why do you wanna be a physics? Because you feel like you're worth more then? Why not be a plumber? That's an honest occupation!

Personally, after my current exam in IT, imma try and get a job as garter. It's the best kind of job for me.

Long hard physical work hours outside in the sun. Half a year vacation in the winter where I have all the freedom I can get to make my awesome games and programs. :)

If you like life, and like this reality, why not take care of it as a job? You'll increase your health, get a ton of hours logged in, whilst being able to do 6-9 month of free time each year.



Why do you want a job?
- To get money.
How do you get money?
- By working many hours consistently
Why do you want money?
- To be able to do what I wanna do.
How can you be able to do what you want?
- by having time and money to do so.
How do you get time?
- By not working.

You see the dilemma there? You want money to be free, but the very act of getting money restricts your freedom. Therefor, you must choose a job that balances your freedom to money ration the best.
 

JR_IsP

Overthinker in Chief
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#15
If I weren't studying physics, I'd probably studying programming.

But wait, I've self tought myself programation for videogames, and 8 bit art for the sprites (check my avatar). I think that a person may have a lot of different interests and hobbies, and what you choose for your future must be your real passion, your interests in life.

Hobbies (such as programming for me) can be self tought, especially if it's computer-related. Just watch some YouTube tutorials. But you can get a physics title by yourself, and... honestly, I like physcis and space even more than programming, that's why I'm studying that.

Don't choose a career for money, not for the dilemma above, but for you happiness. If you want money only, you won't be happy, period.

Don't choose a career for social pressure (but I think that for us INTPs, this doesn't have that impact)

Don't choose a career because someone tells you to do so. You will have to get rid of all the problems, not them.

And finally, don't choose a career because you feel "you are supposed to do so". INTPs are all physicists? That's a HUGE lie (we have musicians, artists, programmers, mathematicians... and so on). You are a free, independent person. And you have the freedom to choose whatever the fuck you want to do with your life. Want to be drug dealer? So be it. Want to be a writer? Adult movies director? Zombie watiing for the Z day to come? So be it.

REMEMBER: Don't let go what you've wanted for your all life for what you want in one moment... moments gone by, but life continues.
 

gilliatt

Active Member
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usa
#16
Physics is the science of measurement. If you can measure something, you usually know something about it, you express it in numbers. Geometry is the 'point'. A point in one's mind. Length and time, that is mechanics. Also mass and force. Why study these things? Because it is important to the thinking, understanding, integrating, proving process. The training in this world or individually that is needed is theoretical, conceptual. A person needs to know the knowledge discovered in the past to be equipped for further knowledge in the future. Karl Friedrich Gauss, he was a German scientist & mathematician who did quite a bit in experimental & theoretical physics. 'Gauss's law. It was about property of electrostatic fields. There is a single positive charge point & the electric intensity is directed radially outward from the point, There is an equation of this magnitude. A point is these charges, outward direction, they zero each other out. The whole universe is a perfect zero balance.
 
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#17
For some inspiration, go and read the following book:
Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman
By Richard P Feynman

If that doesn't make it want to be a theoretical physicist, you aren't meant to be a theoretical physicist. Regardless, I'd say it's essential reading for any xNTP.
 
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