Presentation on theme: "A Career in Physics and Astronomy Steven R. Spangler University of Iowa."— Presentation transcript:
A Career in Physics and Astronomy Steven R. Spangler University of Iowa
What is Physics? Greek for “The Nature of Things” An attempt to discover the fundamental laws of nature, and their mathematical basis Examples: motion of planets, the organization of electrons in atoms, the flow of electricity through matter Carried out through experiment, theory, and computer simulation
What is astronomy? The study of properties of astronomical objects and the laws that govern them Objects range from meteors (40 miles above your heads) to the first stars in the universe. Astronomy draws on physics, but also chemistry, geology, and (in future) biology.
Why study physics and do physics research? Reason #1: The desire to understand nature (“Natural Philosophy”)
Why study physics and do physics research? Reason #2: Physics as the basis for technology Carbon nanotubes in “Field Effect Transistors”
Physics and Useful Technology: Controlled Fusion
The next (very) large step in controlled fusion: ITER
Careers in physics Research scientist Engineer Scientific manager (aerospace, electronics) Medicine Law Education (high school, community college, college)
Education for a career in physics (Part I: high school) Take all the mathematics and science courses available to you Minimum: 4 years of HS math, science through chemistry Optimum: HS math through some calculus, science through physics Take the humanities seriously too! Don’t take a vacation your senior year
Education for a career in physics (Part II: college and beyond) Undergraduate education: (4 years of physics and mathematics) Graduate education (Master’s or PhD): About 5 years (PhD) of advanced courses and research. PhD necessary for research or college teaching, not other career paths
Conclusion The sciences represent the exciting intellectual frontier of the future. By participating in them, you can be a part of new discoveries and the development of new technologies for the world of tomorrow
Study physics and astronomy at the University of Iowa The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa offers degrees in physics, astronomy, and applied physics. Come visit us!