What classes should I take to be a quantum physicist?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by appleguy123, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Location:
    15 minutes in the future
    #1
    I am a sophomore in high school and would like to be a quantum physicist for my career. I go to a small school so we do not offer very specialized classes so if you recommend i take a class in high school i may tell you that i cannot take that class. some things you may need:
    1. I want to go to either William and Mary or Harvard
    2. I want to study the multiple worlds theory almost exclusively.
    3. What courses do you recommend i take in high school and college
    4. Where do they work? Is it only in universities?
    I know this is a mac forum but there are such a wide array of people here that a few of you should be able to answer my question.
    Thanks.
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    I would recommend that you take as many math & science classes as possible. Also, take the highest level classes that you can as well. Good luck.
     
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #3
    Your fourth question leads me to my advice:

    You're a sophomore in high school. Before you start tailoring your class schedule to this career, spend some time learning a little more about the career. I don't mean specifics like whether you would work in a university, but find out what sorts of things a quantum physicist actually does on a day-to-day basis, what the demand for those positions is like, etc. That research will also point you in the right direction in your class selection.

    Don't be surprised if sometime between now and the time you graduate college, you tweak your choice of career just a bit. It happens to many of us. Good luck!
     
  4. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #4
    Personally, I wouldn't worry about any of this right now. Do well in high school to get into the college you want. Study physics there with a quantum specialization and they will get you the classes you need - keeping in mind that an undergraduate physics degree is really just a foundation for later anyway. Get good grades and kill the GREs. That'll pave the way for you to get into a good postgraduate physics program, and there you'll really start to learn quantum physics (or whatever you'd like).

    Besides, as Tomorrow said, you'll probably change your mind about what you want to do with your life a dozen times along the way anyway. :p
     
  5. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    2nd Star to the Right
    #5
    You can look at this problem in one of different two ways...
     
  6. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    And even then his decision isn't really made until he posts here so we can all observe it.
     
  7. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    And if he never does does that mean that he made both decisions?
     
  8. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    2nd Star to the Right
    #8
    So we're in agreement, then. First thing this kid's gotta do is buy a cat.
     
  9. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #9
    But of course - the superposition of two states! :p

    LOL! Exactly!

    To the OP - I forgot to mention this: when you're an undergrad, find a professor that's doing work in an area that interests you, and see if you can do some intern work for him/her during the summers or outside of class. It'll allow you to get a better feel for what it's like to work in the field, and it has the added bonus of looking good on a graduate school application.
     
  10. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    Do this. I promise you, it will make your life so much easier when you're getting ready for graduate school. I never built up any sort of relationship with my professors, and now I am in the position of having to ask a professor that doesn't know me very well for my third letter of recommendation. I lucked out with the other two professors (having taken multiple classes from each), but this third one is going to be an incredibly awkward process.
     
  11. electroshock macrumors 6502a

    electroshock

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #11
    It's all about the spin put on it. :D

    To the OP, I admire you for thinking early enough about this stuff. Your interests may change later on, but it's never too early to load up on hard science/math courses. Also never too early to explore physics, even as a high school sophomore.

    In fact, my chemistry teacher once took me, a classmate, and another science teacher out one night to attend a well-attended lecture on quantum physics at a respected university. I knew I was over my head in some areas but listened anyway (and some of it made more sense years later when I finally got classes needed to understand it).

    Some of it had fun real world examples including videos showing that infamous bridge wobbling then falling apart due to harmonic resonance, and a bunch of other fun little experiments shown.

    And some of it talking about spin, states, quanta, etc. Good background.

    After all, if you have this kind of background, you may very well open yourself up to a possible future career as an astronaut. Good luck and have fun. :)
     

Share This Page