Physicist

related topics
{math, energy, light}
{school, student, university}
{work, book, publish}
{theory, work, human}
{land, century, early}
{company, market, business}
{system, computer, user}
{law, state, case}

A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made (particle physics) to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole (cosmology).

Contents

Etymology

The term "Physicist" was coined by English philosopher, priest, and historian of science William Whewell in 1840, to denote a cultivator of physics.[1]

Education

Most material a student encounters in the undergraduate physics curriculum is based on discoveries and insights of a century or more in the past. Alhazen's intromission theory of light was formulated in the 11th century; Newton's laws of motion and Newton's law of universal gravitation were formulated in the 17th century; Maxwell's equations, 19th century; and quantum mechanics, early 20th century. The undergraduate physics curriculum generally includes the following range of courses: chemistry, classical physics, astronomy, physics laboratory, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, optics, modern physics, quantum physics, nuclear physics, particle physics, and solid state physics. Undergraduate physics students must also take extensive mathematics courses (calculus, differential equations, advanced calculus), and computer science and programming. Undergraduate physics students often perform research with faculty members.

Many positions, especially in research, require a doctoral degree. At the Master's level and higher, students tend to specialize in a particular field. Fields of specialization include experimental and theoretical astrophysics, atomic physics, molecular physics, biophysics, chemical physics, condensed matter physics, cosmology, geophysics, material science, nuclear physics, optics, particle physics, and plasma physics. Post-doctoral experience may be required for certain positions.

Full article ▸

related documents
Kennelly-Heaviside layer
Elliptical polarization
Radio horizon
Reflection coefficient
Optical path length
Steradian
Ephemeris time
Acceleration
Celestial sphere
Black dwarf
Atmospheric duct
Optical phenomenon
Arago spot
Coherence length
Naiad (moon)
Ground plane
Giuseppe Piazzi
Space observatory
Luna 10
Dichroism
Diurnal motion
Charles Messier
Thebe (moon)
Transport phenomena
Atlas (moon)
Positron
Electrical length
Zero-dispersion wavelength
Non-Newtonian fluid
Bipyramid