As a child, were you fascinated by sci-fi sitcom Rick and Morty and their intergalactic tricks? As an adult, have you been pondering over the question of how realistic were the sitcom’s use of surreal scientific concepts and futuristic technologies? Would you work to bring another element of surprise in the conventional story of the big bang? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then chances are that you are interested in the fascinating domain of physical sciences.
Each one of us is a born scientist. We have a natural tendency to explore every possible facet of our environment. For those of you who are interested in experimentation and being at the forefront of research, studying physics, chemistry, and mathematics in high school (PCM) may enhance your interest in physical sciences.
Physical science and engineering are two very common toss ups for students of high school. Physical science careers as well as careers within engineering are both lucrative options for passionate students. Both of these fields of study will allow you to earn a good living while satisfying your intellectual curiosity about the physical world around you. While engineering is a more familiar line of study, the way we think about physical science needs a little bit of modification.
What is physical sciences?
The physical sciences are concerned with the study of inanimate natural objects, including physics, chemistry, astronomy, and other related academic subjects.
Physics in and of itself is a broad major as it encompasses everything from the smallest particles that we have discovered to the largest stars and blackholes in the universe. Chemistry often encompasses an in-depth study of the material world which is of paramount importance and fuels advancements in all areas of science.
Be it physics or chemistry, science is not constricted to fancy labs—they are omnipresent. Drop a couple of raisins in a fizzy drink or observe a coffee spill dry, hands-on experiences are great teachers!
Why study physical science?
Each of us has got three life systems: our body, the planet, and the civilization. Each of these are independent and keep us alive in their own way. Each of these are based on the fundamental physical law that you can learn in the kitchen with eggs, tea cups, and lemonade.
You couldn’t drive a car, use a mobile phone, or send a tweet if it weren’t for the decades of innovation in chemistry and physics. Scientists use the fundamental physical laws to make modern life possible as well as to solve pressing problems such as climate change.
What are some careers that involve physical science?
- Astrophysics is a branch of space science that applies the laws of physics and chemistry to investigate the origin and evolution of the universe. Astrophysicists or cosmologists may study blackholes, galaxies, supernovas, and dark energy. Moreover, they may also delve into questions such as why the universe is accelerating.
- Plasma physics studies fusion energy which is the process that powers stars such as our own sun. They formulate methods to harness such energy which can be used to power our homes. Recently, plasma applications have expanded to many key technologies, which will be used in the 21st century, such as semiconductor and computer chip production, thin film coating of ceramics or metals for many new quality improvements by modification of surfaces, and many applications to environmental issues, including dissociation of hazardous gases.
- Photonics is another major area of work under the discipline of physics that deals with generating, detecting and controlling photons. Photonics scientists predict how light photons can be used to provide power and improve communication devices. This field of study can be widely applied to medicine, healthcare & defense sector.
- Meteorology includes study of weather and climate. Professionals in this area predict the weather using various techniques within the spheres of calculus and physics. Meteorologists use advanced modeling techniques to forecast atmospheric conditions. Other than forecasting, meteorologists may also study the impact of weather on the environment and conduct research into weather patterns, and climate change. This is an interesting subfield within the physical sciences.
- Geodesy is the science of accurately measuring and understanding earth’s geometric shape, orientation in space and gravitational field. Geodesists use the principles of applied mathematics to precisely measure distances between the earth and other planets, changes in the earth’s gravitational pull, and movements in the Earth’s crust.
- Flavour chemistry involves determining the individual compound(s) that are responsible for the characteristic flavour found in foods and beverages. Flavour chemists, also known as ‘flavorists’, tackle the demands of the food processing industry and engineer natural as well as artificial flavours.
- Hydrologists may study the movement and properties of water and soil samples in various terrains. For instance, they may record and study the water volume, velocity, pH levels or pollutant levels within the soil from a particular region.
- Materials scientists may study the microstructure of a material down to its macromolecular physical and chemical properties. They are employed by companies who make products using metals, ceramics, and rubber.
Other academic fields within physical science include particle physics, medical physics, geophysics, optics, nanotechnology and many more.
Where can you work?
Physical science allows you to explore a plethora of job sectors such as astrophysics, string theory, and high energy laser research to name a few.
Numerous jobs lie in academia, where you can conduct research for a university in your field of expertise and also work as a professor. A good number of jobs are also available in national labs or government agencies where you may conduct research within the subfield of experimental physics. You will also have opportunities to work with notable multinational firms including the likes of Google, Boeing, and Microsoft. In such organizations, you may work with laser technology, high speed circuits, and quantum computers.
Recommended Read: 9 Exciting Careers You Never Knew About
Top Under graduation Institutes in India
1. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
• Four-year Bachelor of Science (Research) Programs
• Six major disciplines are offered: Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Science, Materials, Mathematics, and Physics.
2. Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (Multiple locations)
• BS and BS-MS Dual Degree Program (5-year)
• Programs offered in Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Data Science, Earth & Climate Sciences/Earth & Environmental Sciences, Economic Sciences, Engineering Sciences (Chemical Engineering, Data Science & Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Engineering), Geological Sciences, Mathematical Sciences & Physical Sciences.
3. National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER)
• B.SC – M.Sc. (5 year integrated) Program
4. Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (CBS)
• Integrated MSc Program (5 year)
5. Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai
• B.Sc. (Hons.) in Mathematics and Physics (3-year course)
• There is a common entrance examination for the B.Sc. (Hons.) program.
6. The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS)
• Integrated Bachelor’s – Master’s Program.
7. BITS, Pilani
• 4 year B.sc + M.sc
The realms of advanced technologies and quantum computing offers us a thrilling opportunity to explore our physical world with greater accuracy. We may use the physical sciences to investigate our vibrant environment and gain insight into the fine details of our physical settings.
Physical science challenges our imaginations with concepts like pulse power and string theory, which spurs us to strive for greater breakthroughs. Advancement in technologies and scientific innovation change our life for the better and motivate us to grow as a civilization while fostering sustainability.
Discover your career journey with Physical sciences by booking a online career counseling session today with Mindler, and get the career clarity you deserve!