The Misunderstood : Physics and Applied Physics
The Misunderstood : Physics and Applied Physics

The Misunderstood : Physics and Applied Physics

While choosing between careers, a person has to go through proper knowledge of each field as his/her choice will mark what he wants to pursue. In this era, there are new emerging fields which many people cannot understand. Some have similar names or similar meanings, but in fact they differ from a course point of view. Hence, they are different fields which further lead to different paths. Or sometimes there are similarities in different fields.This Series “THE MISUNDERSTOOD” will highlight the misunderstood fields. What they are, which path they lead to, what job opportunities a person have and their importance.

What is Physics?

Physics is a branch of natural science which deals with matter, energy and the interaction between them. Physics is one of the most foundational scientific disciplines with understanding of how universe behaves as its main aim.

Bachelor’s degree in Physics:

A bachelor’s degree in physics trains students to take problem solving approach in real-life situations by the help of the mathematics and physics foundation. This degree include lots of theoretical learning as it is a degree which mostly is focused on research and development. Students enrolled in this degree are taught complex algorithm alongside practical work. Studying physics develops your core understanding of physics and its concepts. Students who study physics are prepared to work on ideas in science and technology. Physics doesn’t just deal with theoretical concepts, but it is applied in every sphere of human activity. You’ll study the elementary building blocks of the universe in subfields such as particle physics, quantum mechanics, quantum optics, and quantum electrodynamics and study the universe in enormous terms through sub-disciplines like astronomy, cosmology, and string theory.

Careers in Physics:

Physics degree prepares you for a large amount of careers you can pursue.

“I reckon that physicists can pretty much anything. Our training can apply to almost any activity, and it allows us to see things in ways that might not be obvious to others.” ~ British science writer Simon Singh.

Physics serves as a broad foundation for careers in engineering, computer science, astronomy and medicine. Many physicists go for research in government programs.

A physics degree holder can be a;

· Atmospheric Scientist and Meteorologists

· Biochemists and Biophysicists

· Chemists and Material Scientists

· Hydrologists

· Nuclear Technicians

· Physicists and Astronomers

· Aerospace Engineers

· Astrophysicists

· Medical Physicists

· Laboratory Technicians

· Accelerator Operator

· Applications Engineer

· Data analyst

· Teacher

· Research Associate

· Design Engineer

The salary earned by a physics degree varies depending on the job placement.

Chemical Technician — $48,160

Nuclear Technician — $79,140

Medical Scientist — $84,810

Physicist — $119,580

Before I get into applied physics, I want you to know that Physics and applied physics are two different fields though there are similarities in career positions and there are some similarities in what you are being taught as Applied physics is a branch of physics.

People misunderstand both as one field. Both are different fields with their own unique paths.

What is Applied Physics?

Applied physics is a branch of physics which focuses on helping solve complex real-life problems. Applied physics helps applied physicists to develop new technologies and solve the engineering problems which engineers cannot solve. It is considered being a bridge between physics and engineering. Practical and experimental work is focused more than theoretical work. Applied Physics makes a connection between foundational research in physics and its applications to real-world problems solving.

Bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics:

The bachelor’s degree training is a strong emphasis on the use and application of the knowledge gained. The students can design and conduct experiments as well as analyze, interpret and represent results. Applied physics uses the techniques, skills, and Modern physics and engineering tools for practical work for the understanding of the processes. More emphasis is on practical and experimental work as compared to the theoretical work. This degree tends to focus on mathematics and physical principles including electricity, quantum theory, magnetism , etc. It is a course in which applications of scientific knowledge, in the physical world, are dealt.

Careers in Applied Physics:

Many careers of applied physics are similar to those of physics. A person who has degree in applied physics can be a;

· Aerospace Engineer

· Astronomer

· Atmospheric and Space Scientist

· Atomic, molecular , optics physics

· Automotive Engineer

· Biochemist and Biophysicist

· Biomedical Engineer

· Computer Science

· Electrical Engineering Technologist

· Engineering Physics

· Nuclear Engineer

· Nuclear Medicine Technologist

· Nuclear Monitoring Technician

· Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

· Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist

· Materials Scientist

· Mechanical Engineer

· Medical Physicist

· Petroleum Engineer

· Physicist

· Radiation Therapist

· Radiologic Technologist

· Radiologist

· Sustainability Specialist

· Teacher

· Technical Writer

· Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operator

· Wind Energy Engineer

The salary earned by Applied physicists depends on the job placement as well;

Software Engineer — $78,000

Electrical Engineer — $73,000

Senior Systems Engineer — $101,000

Process Engineer — $76,000

I hope this will remove the misunderstanding between the field PHYSICS and APPLIED PHYSICS. There are differences and similarities in both fields specially the career point of view. There are many careers which can be achieved from both fields and some are unique of their specific field.

Account Managed By Muhammad Ali Siddiqui, Author of The Dumb Detective

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store