Personally I learned Physics in high-school and found it very interesting, I read up a lot about physics in my free time.

Personally I am also a programmer which I think is also good when it comes to Physics.

Now I want to start studying in a university and my dilemma right is mainly between Math/Computer Science/Physics. It's possible to do a degree in just one or combine two of them.

Currently, the subjects that I find most interesting in Physics are the most advanced ones: Relativity and most of all Quantum Mechanics. I've always been fascinated with materials, what they are formed of at the most elementary level.

Now for the real question.

From what I usually read it's very hard to get into physics research, of course it's not impossible but still I'd like to ask:

Are there careers that are related to quantum mechanics or relativity that are not as a researcher? If so, what are they? can you give examples?

  • $\begingroup$ This question difficult to read at times, because skip some words. Also, how losely do you define the term "researcher"? Is working for the military or a firm involved in communication technology or optimizing chemical or material surface processes research for you? $\endgroup$ – Nikolaj-K Dec 30 '11 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ I went over the question, I hope I corrected all the typos. As for your question - obviously it's not a black and white thing. Loosely speaking, a research career the way I see it is when someone pays you money to discover new things. $\endgroup$ – fiftyeight Dec 30 '11 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic. See also chat transcript around here. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Mar 3 '15 at 14:55

You might do worse than go into high energy experimental physics.

A thesis would need knowledge of most theories for elementary particles, it would be on a subset of the subject not explored before, thus new and research. At the same time the experiments are huge and depend crucially on computer programming, mathematics, solid state, cryogenics, statistics... you name it. A diligent student who is good in programming, is invaluable for the experiments and very necessary at all stages. A person good with solid state and electronics is invaluable during the construction of the experiment and for the maintenance of it. etc.

The draw back is that the current experiments have very many groups and many people involved( the LHC ones have thousands) so people skills are also invaluable.

A student who works well in groups has an asset.


If you want to combine math, computer science and quantum mechanics, try quantum computation. Of course, most current work on quantum computers are being done by researchers, but I think it would be easier for a programmer with knowledge of quantum mechanics to do something like design or analyze quantum algorithms.


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