“Physics is really nothing more than a search for ultimate simplicity, but so far all we have is a kind of elegant messiness.” - Bill Bryson

Physicists are scientists who study the nature of different types of physical phenomena present in the Universe. Their research includes the study of sub –atomic particles that are the fundamental units of matter to the functioning of the Universe as a whole. They study the principles of phenomena like matter, heat, light and other radiation, sound and electricity.

Physicists spend most of their times researching and writing research papers. A lot of Physicists work as Professors in universities and colleges. It is a career that is based on funding given by institutions that promote research.

What does a Physicist do?

In general terms, Physicists attempt to understand the nature of the entire universe. They observe natural phenomena and then develop theories to explain how and why did the phenomena occur. These theories are then applied to create new technologies.

A Physicist studies and researches about the structure of matter and its individual sub – atomic constituents. They understand the interaction between matter and energy. Through the study of this interaction, they try to explain various phenomena, such as chemical reactions, gravity, nuclear fusion etc.

Some Physicists study about the theoretical areas of physics such as the nature of time and the universe whereas some Physicists study the practical aspect of physics, in which they develop high quality and sophisticated equipment such as particle accelerators.

The main job of a Physicist is to come up with theories based on his/her observations and research. They then design experiments that can prove these theories as correct and accurate.

Physicists are often required to use the laws and fundamentals of physics to improve existing technologies. One such technology is the laser beam technology that has now enabled people to cure their vision related problems permanently.

An important job of a Physicist is to apply for grants to institutions that help in funding research. This is extremely important as the career of a Physicist is based on this funding.

Many Physicists also give talks at seminars and teach Undergraduate and Graduate students at Universities.

How to become a Physicist?

To become a Physicist, the first thing you need to do is to work hard in your studies. You need to concentrate on important subjects like Math and Science after 10th as they are required in every aspect of Physics. After your schooling, you should do a B.Tech or a B.Sc in Physics at the college level.

After your Bachelor’s you would do a Ph.D too. This will help you understand the subject in a detailed manner and also help you learn how to write research papers.

Once you’ve completed your Ph.D, you can find employment in one the following three kinds of organizations:
Government – Government jobs are offered to Physicists in the fields of medicine and weapons.
Industry – Physicists improve technologies and equipment in industries.
Universities Physicists who want to continue their research in a particular area should join Universities as Professors. Universities not only pay you, but also provide you with high end laboratories that help you in your research.

To become a Physicist you need to develop an inquisitive and questioning attitude. You should not only be able to think about what is happening, but also about why it is happening.

As a Physicist, you need to work on your writing and communication skills. These can help you when you have to write your research papers as well as grant letters.

To become a Physicist, you need to build contacts and stay in touch with the scientific community. Attending seminars and conferences provide you with a great opportunity to network as well as gain knowledge.

It’s important as a Physicist to be aware of the latest developments in your field and to apply past and evolving theories into your work.

What are the skills required to become a Physicist?

First and foremost, he should have the ability to scientifically reason. He should be able to ask logical questions and provide logical answers that can be proven. A Physicist should be strong in Math, as it forms a fundamental part of Physics. Physicists are required to perform complicated calculations on computers; therefore being proficient with computers is a big plus. Physicists should have good communication skills as that can help you get funding as well as submit good research papers. Physicists have to work alone as well as in big teams. Therefore, one should have the ability to adjust and work in a team as well as be capable of taking decisions on your own. A Physicist should be dedicated and have an eye for detail as many times their big breakthrough will be found within complicated phenomena.

Is this the right career for me?

The life of a Physicist is spent in laboratories and offices conducting experiments and analyzing data collected from research. It is a tedious job where you have to study the minutest of details without losing track of the bigger picture. Physicists need to constantly work towards collecting money to fund their research. They lead a regular life and work at normal hours.

So if your love for the subject exceeds everything else, and if you want to discover the reasons behind fascinating natural phenomena without running after fame and appreciation, then this might just be the perfect career for you.

Careers in research, Engineers

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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.