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所以,你想成为一个物理学家?

(2010-07-01 15:41:42)
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杂谈

分类: 现代物理学
 

You have come to the right place你来对地方了

I've often been asked the question: how do you become a physicist?我经常有人问这样一个问题:你如何成为一个物理学家? Let me first say that physicists, from a fairly early age, are fascinated by the universe and its fantastic wonders.让我首先指出,物理学家,从相当早的时代,是由它的神奇和宇宙奇观着迷。 We want to be part of the romantic, exciting adventure to tease apart its mysteries and understand the nature of physical reality.我们希望成为浪漫的,令人兴奋的冒险的一部分,其奥秘除了嘲笑和理解现实的物理性质。

That's the driving force behind our lives.这就是我们的生活背后的驱动力。 We are more interested in black holes and the origin of the universe than with making tons of money and driving flashy cars.我们更感兴趣的黑洞和决策的比金钱和闪光的汽车驾驶吨宇宙的起源。 We also realize that physics forms the foundation for biology, chemistry, geology, etc. and the wealth of modern civilization.我们也认识到,物理形式的基础生物学,化学,地质等与现代文明的财富。 We realize that physicists pioneered the pivotal discoveries of the 20th century which revolutionized the world (eg the transistor, the laser, splitting the atom, TV and radio, MRI and PET scans, quantum theory and relativity, unraveling the DNA molecule was done by physicists.我们认识到,物理学家开创20世纪的彻底改变了世界(如晶体管的重要发现,激光,分裂原子,电视和电台,MRI及PET扫描,量子论和相对论,揭开了DNA分子是由物理学家做。

But people often ask the question: do I have to be an Einstein to become a physicist?但是,人们经常会问这样一个问题:我要成为一个物理学家爱因斯坦? The answer is NO.答案是否定的。 Sure, physicists have to be proficient in mathematics, but the main thing is to have that curiosity and drive.当然,物理学家必须精通数学,但最主要的是要有好奇心和驱动器。 One of the greatest physicists of all time, Michael Faraday, started out as a penniless, uneducated apprentice, but he was persistent and creative and then went on to revolutionize modern civilization with electric motors and dynamos.所有时代最伟大的物理学家之一,迈克尔法拉第,开始了作为一个身无分文,没有受过教育的学徒,但他坚持和创造性,接着上进行了革新电动机和发电机与现代文明。 Much of the worlds gross domestic product depends on his work.世界上大部分的国内生产总值依赖于他的工作。

Einstein also said that behind every great theory there is a simple physical picture that even lay people can understand.爱因斯坦也说,每一个伟大的理论背后有一个简单的物理图像,即使是外行人也明白。 In fact, he said, if a theory does not have a simple underlying picture, then the theory is probably worthless.事实上,他说,如果一个理论并没有一个简单的基本图,然后将理论可能是毫无价值的。 The important thing is the physical picture; math is nothing but bookkeeping.最重要的是物理图像,数学不过是记账。

Steps to becoming a Physicist:成为物理学家的步骤:

1) in high school, read popular books on physics and try to make contact with real physicists, if possible.一高中),物理读畅销书,努力使真正的物理学家的联系,如果可能的话。 (Role models are extremely important. If you cannot talk to a real physicist, read biographies of the giants of physics, to understand their motivation, their career path, the milestones in their career.) A role model can help you lay out a career path that is realistic and practical. (角色模型是非常重要的。如果你不能跟一个真正的物理学家,读物理学的巨人的传记,了解他们的动机,他们的职业生涯,在其职业生涯中的里程碑。)一个角色模型可以帮助你制定出一个职业生涯道路是切实可行的。 The wheel has already been invented, so take advantage of a role model.该轮已被发明,所以采取了一个角色模型的优点。 Doing a science fair project is another way to plunge into the wonderful world of physics.做好科学合理的项目,是另一种方式积极投身物理学的奇妙世界。 Unfortunately, well-meaning teachers and counselors, not understanding physics, will probably give you a lot of useless advice, or may try to discourage you.不幸的是,善意的教师和辅导员,不懂物理,将可能会给你一个无用的很多建议,或可能会尝试让你泄气。 Sometimes you have to ignore their advice.有时你不得不忽略他们的意见。

Don't get discouraged about the math, because you will have to wait until you learn calculus to understand most physics.不要对数学气馁,因为你将不得不等待,直到你学会微积分,以最了解物理学。 (After all, Newton invented calculus in order to solve a physics problem: the orbit of the moon and planets in the solar system.) (毕竟,牛顿发明微积分,以解决物理问题:在月球和太阳系行星轨道。)

Get good grades in all subjects and good SAT scores (ie don't get too narrowly focused on physics) so you can be admitted to a top school, such as Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech.在所有科目取得好成绩和良好的SAT成绩(即不要太狭隘地集中在物理),这样你就可以入住,如哈佛,普林斯顿,斯坦福大学,麻省理工学院,加州理工学院的一位高级学校。 (Going to a top liberal arts college is sometimes an advantage over going to an engineering school, since it's easier to switch majors if you have a career change.) (去一个顶级高校文科的优势有时会超过一个工程学校,因为它更容易转专业,如果你有一个职业生涯的变化。)

2) next, study four years of college. 2)接下来,研究四年大学生活。 Students usually have to declare their majors in their sophomore (2nd) year in college; physics majors should begin to think about doing (a) experimental physics or (b) theoretical physics and choosing a specific field.学生通常必须申报自己的二年级(2)在大学一年的专业;物理专业应开始考虑这样做(1)实验物理或(b)理论物理和选择一个特定的领域。

The standard four year curriculum:标准的4年课程:

a) first year physics, including mechanics and electricity and magnetism (caution: many universities make this course unnecessarily difficult, to weed out weaker engineers and physicists, so don't be discouraged if you don't ace this course! Many future physicists do poorly in this first year course because it is made deliberately difficult.). 1)第一年物理,包括电,磁和力学(注意:此过程使许多大学不必要的困难,淘汰不弱的工程师和物理学家,所以不要灰心,如果你不王牌这当然!许多未来的物理学家做差在这第一年课程,因为这是刻意制造困难。)。

Also, take first (or second) year calculus.此外,以第一(或第二)年演算。

b) second year physics - intermediate mechanics and EM theory. b)第二年物理学 - 力学和电磁理论的中间。

Also, second year calculus, including differential equations and surface and volume integrals.此外,第二年微积分,包括微分方程和表面和体积积分。

c) third year physics - a selection from: optics, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, beginning atomic and nuclear theory c)第三年物理学 - 从选择:光学,热力学,统计力学,原子和核理论开始

d) four year physics - elementary quantum mechanics四)四年物理学 - 量子力学基础

Within physics, there are many sub-disciplines you can choose from.在物理,有许多子学科你可以选择。 For example, there is solid state, condensed matter, low temperature, and laser physics, which have immediate applications in electronics and optics.例如,有固态,凝聚态,低温,激光物理,已在电子和光学立即申请。 My own field embraces elementary particle physics as well as general relativity.我自己的领域涵盖基本粒子物理学以及广义相对论。 Other branches include nuclear physics, astrophysics, geophysics, biophysics, etc.其他分支机构包括核物理,天体物理,地球物理,生物物理等

Often you can apply for industrial jobs right after college.通常你可以申请工业大学毕业后就业的权利。 But for the higher paying jobs, it's good to get a higher degree.但对于高收入的工作,这是很好的获得更高的学位。

3) so then there is graduate school. 3),所以当时有研究生院。 If your goal is to teach physics at the high school or junior college level, then obtaining a Masters degree usually involves two years of advanced course work but no original research.如果你的目标是教授在高中或大专水平的物理,然后获得硕士学位通常需要两年的高级课程工作多年,但没有原创性的研究。 There is a shortage of physics teachers at the junior college and high school level.有一个初中物理教师在大学和高中水平不足。

If you want to become a research physicist or professor, you must get a Ph.D., which usually involves 4 to 5 years (sometimes more), and involves publishing original research.如果你想成为一个物理学家或教授的研究,你必须得到一个博士学位,这通常需要4至5年(有时更多),并涉及出版原创性研究。 (This is not as daunting as it may seem, since usually this means finding a thesis advisor, who will simply assign you a research problem or include you in their experimental work.) Funding a Ph.D. (这是不是因为它似乎令人生畏,因为通常这意味着找到指导教授,谁只是给您一个研究问题或包含在他们的实验的工作。)资助博士 is also not as hard as it seems, since a professor will usually have a grant or funding from the department to support you at a rate of about $12,000 per year or more.也是不一样努力,因为它看来,因为教授通常会从该署赠款或资金支持,用大约每年$ 12,000或以上的速度你。 Compared to English or history graduate students, physics graduate students have a very cushy life.相对于研究生英语,历史,物理研究生有一个非常轻松的生活。

After a Ph.D: Three sources of jobs经过博士:三个职位来源

a) government 1)政府

b) industry b)工业

c) the university c)大学

Government work may involve setting standards at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (the old National Bureau of Standards), which is important for all physics research.政府的工作设置在可能涉及的标准与技术(原国家标准局),这是对所有物理研究所研究的重要国家标准。 Government jobs pay well, but you will never become wealthy being a government physicist.政府的工作薪酬不错,但你永远不会成为富裕作为政府的物理学家。 But government work may also involve working in the weapons industry, which I highly discourage.但是,政府工作还可能涉及兵器工业,我非常劝阻工作。 (Not only for ethical reasons, but because that area is being downsized rapidly.) (不仅是道义上的理由,而是因为该地区正在迅速缩减。)

Industrial work has its ebbs and flows.工业工作有其低潮和流动。 But lasers and semi-conductor and computer research will be the engines of the 21st century, and there will be jobs in these fields.但是,激光和半导体和计算机的研究将成为21世纪的发动机,将在这些领域的工作。 One rewarding feature of this work is the realization that you are building the scientific architecture that will enrich all our lives.这项工作的一个特点是实现奖励,你是建立科学的架构,将丰富我们的生活。 There is no job security at this level, but the pay can be quite good (especially for those in management positions - it's easier for a scientist to become a business manager than for a business major to learn science.) In fact, some of the wealthiest billionaires in the electronics industry and Silicon Valley came from physics/engineering backgrounds and then switched to management or set up their own corporation.没有职业保障在这个水平,但支付可以是相当不错,特别是在管理职位的人员( - 这是比较容易的科学家,成为一个比一个主要业务,以学习科学的业务经理。)事实上,一些最富有的亿万富翁在电子业和硅谷来自/工程物理背景,然后切换到管理或成立自己的公司。

But I personally think a university position is the best, because then you can work on any problem you want.但我个人认为大学教育的定位是最好的,因为这样你可以在任何问题,你想要的。 But jobs at the university are scarce; this may mean taking several two-year “post-doctorate” positions at various colleges before landing a teaching position as an assistant professor without tenure (tenure means you have a permanent position).但在大学工作是稀缺,这可能意味着几个为期两年的“博士后”在各院校在降落前,作为一个没有任期助理教授(任期教师职务岗位意味着你有一个永久的位置)。 Then you have 5-7 more years in which to establish a name for yourself as an assistant professor.然后你必须在5至7年多来建立自己作为助理教授1名。

If you get tenure, then you have a permanent position and are promoted to associate professor and eventually full professor.如果你的任期内,那么你有一个永久的位置,并晋升为副教授,并最终全面教授。 The pay may average between $40,000 to $100,000, but there are also severe obstacles to this path.平均薪酬可能介乎40,000元至100,000元,但也有走这条道路的严重障碍。

In the 1960s, because of Sputnik, a tremendous number of university jobs opened up.中,因为第一颗人造卫星,巨大的大学就业人数20世纪60年代开放。 The number of professors soared exponentially.该教授的人数成倍激增。 But this could not last forever.但是,这不能永远持续下去。 By the mid 1970s, job expansion began inevitably to slow down, forcing many of my friends out of work.到了70年代中期,不可避免地扩大就业开始放缓,迫使很多朋友失去工作。 So the number of faculty positions leveled off in the 1980s.因此,教师职务的人数趋于稳定在20世纪80年代。

Then, many people predicted that, with the retirement of the Sputnik-generation, new jobs at the universities would open up in the 90s.然后,许多人都预测,随着人造卫星代,新的工作岗位的大学退休会开放的90年代。 Exactly the opposite took place.恰恰相反发生。 First, Congress passed legislation against age-discrimination, so professors could stay on as long as they like.首先,美国国会通过反对年龄歧视的立法,使教授们的欢迎,只要他们喜欢。 Many physicists in their seventies decided to stay on, making it difficult to find jobs for young people.在70年代许多物理学家决定留下来,因此很难找到工作的青年人。 Second, after the cancellation of the SSC and the end of the Cold War, universities and government began to slowly downsize the funding for physics.其次,在取消了南南合作和冷战结束,大学和政府开始慢慢缩小为物理资金。 As a result, the average age of a physicist increases 8 months per year, meaning that there is very little new hiring.因此,一个物理学家的平均年龄的增长每年8个月,这意味着很少有新的招聘。

As I said, physicists do not become scientists for the money, so I don't want to downplay the financial problems that you may face.正如我所说,物理学家不会成为科学家们的钱,所以我不想淡化的财务问题,你可能面临。 In fact, many superstring theorists who could not get faculty jobs went to Wall Street (where they were incorrectly called “rocket scientists”).事实上,许多超弦理论家谁不能得到教师的工作去了华尔街(他们被错误地称为“火箭科学家”)。 This may mean leaving the field.这可能意味着离开现场。 However, for the diehards who wish to do physics in spite of a bad job market, you may plan to have a “fall-back” job to pay the bills (eg programming) while you conduct research on your own time.然而,顽固派谁愿意做一个坏就业市场虽然物理,你可能计划有“后备”的工作来支付医疗费用(如编程),而你对你自己的时间进行研究。

But this dismal situation cannot last.但是,这种恶劣的情况不会持续太久。 Within ten years, the Sputnik-generation will finally retire, hopefully opening up new jobs for young, talented physicists.在10年来,人造卫星代会终于退休,希望开辟年轻,有才华的物理学家新的就业机会。 The funding for physics may never rival that of the Cold War, but physics will remain an indispensable part of creating the wealth of the 21st century.对于物理学的资金可能永远匹敌的冷战,但将继续成为物理学创造21世纪的财富不可或缺的一部分。 There are not many of us (about 30,000 or so are members of the American Physical Society) but we form the vanguard of the future.有没有我们(约30000多左右,是美国物理学会会员),但我们形成了未来的先锋。 It also helps to join the APS and receive Physics Today magazine, which has an excellent back page which lists the various job openings around the country.它还有助于加入APS和接受今日物理杂志,拥有一支优秀的背页,罗列在全国各地的各种就业机会。

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