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Page Index:Physics

Academic Information: - top

What is Physics?  top

The pursuit of physics is to understand and explain how nature works, from the unimaginably small world of atomic particles to the fantastically vast realm of galaxy clusters. Physicists observe nature and try to categorize and understand the phenomena they observe. Physics is a basic science that is the foundation of many other scientific disciplines and therefore has an important impact on almost all the problems facing modern society. Many people think that physics is something new—but it started before recorded history when people first discovered recurring relationships in the environment. Through careful observation of these relationships and because of nature’s dependability, they found they could make reliable predictions that would seem to give them some control over their surroundings. Physicists solve problems and make discoveries directly through research and indirectly by teaching and inspiring others to look for explanations for the events happening in the physical universe.

Career Information  -  top

Possible/Typical Job Titles -  top

Typical Places of Employment -  top 

  • Astronaut Corps
  • US Dept of the Interior
  • Nonprofit Research Groups
  • Chemical Companies
  • Federal Government(Army, Navy, etc.)
  • Oilfields
  • Colleges & Universities
  • Hospitals
  • Patent Law Firms
  • Electronic Firms
  • Laboratories
  • Power Plants
  • Engineering Firms
  • Museums
  • Private Industry (IBM, Allied, etc.)
  • US Dept of Agriculture
  • National Aeronautics & Space
  • Administration
  • Research & Development Firms
  • US Dept of Commerce
  • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • School Boards
  • US Dept of Defense
  • State & Local Governments

Required Skills and Abilities  -  top

  • Performing ambiguous or abstract tasks
  • Solving problems through visualization
  • Working independently
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Observe data
  • Gather/analyze data  
  • Inform, explain, instruct     
  • Maintain records     
  • Establish experimental designs
  • Evaluate ideas     
  • Prepare technical reports     
  • Utilize math formulas     
  • Use instruments
  • See relationships among factors     
  • Draw meaningful conclusions
  • Collecting and organizing data
  • Conducting research and analyses
  • Doing scientific or laboratory work
  • Define research problems   
  • Develop & write research proposals   
  • Measure distances/relationships   
  • Design equipment
  • Develop research models     
  • Review scientific literature     
  • Perform calculations     
  • Identify/classify materials
  • Establish hypotheses     
  • Summarize research findings     
  • Mathematical modeling

Alumni Resources  -  top

(Listed below are examples of SU Alumni and their Jobs in this major-For more alumni resources, go to Mentor Network)

Christopher Crue 2002 Researcher - Physicist Battelle Memorial Institute
Jeffrey Reddish 1987   NASA
Richard Woitkowiak 2000 Systems Performance Engineer Nextel
Glenn Silbert 1991 Owner GS Computers Plus LLC

Related Links: Further Explore this Career Field -  top

Professional Associations:

American Institute of Physics

American Astronomical Society

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

American Physical Society

Institute of Physics

Other Career-Related Links:

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