Ranjan K Baruah
Students do not pursue science stream for various reasons. Amongst the royal science subjects, Physics is one of the most important. This subject is regarded as the base for all scientific inventions and is considered as one of the key subjects of science. Physicists can find employment in an extensive range of areas, both within and outside the discipline. Physics-based careers include that of medical physicist, research scientist, scientific laboratory technician, radiation protection adviser, the armed forces and defence industry. Graduates and post graduates also find employment in academic institutions, and government research organisations as well as industries such as aerospace, engineering, manufacturing, oil and gas, space exploration and telecommunications.
The dictionary definition of physics is “the study of matter, energy, and the interaction between them”, but what it really means is that physics is about asking fundamental questions and trying to answer them by observing and experimenting. Physics is a very old discipline because astronomy, a part of physics, is the oldest natural science. In the past it was a part of natural philosophy with other fields of science, such as chemistry and biology, but during the scientific revolution, these fields became separate, and physics became a distinct field of knowledge.
Physics is a branch of science. It studies matter, and all forces and their effects. Modern physics connects ideas about the four laws of symmetry and conservation of energy, momentum, charge, and parity. Physics can also be defined as "that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular succession of events". One of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, the main goal of physics is to understand how the universe behaves.
It is a very old discipline because astronomy, a part of physics, is the oldest natural science. In the past it was a part of natural philosophy with other fields of science, such as chemistry and biology, but during the scientific revolution, these fields became separate, and physics became a distinct field of knowledge.
It uses the scientific method i.e. data from experiments and observations are collected. Theories which attempt to explain these data are produced. Physics uses these theories to not only describe physical phenomena, but to model physical systems and predict how these physical systems will behave. Physicists then compare these predictions to observations or experimental evidence to show whether the theory is right or wrong.
Medical physicists are employed in hospitals and departments of medical research. Astrophysics is a field in Physics and aspirants may get connected to organisation like Indian Space Research Organisation. Aspirants with Ph.D or qualified in National Eligibility Test can take up teaching positions in schools, colleges and universities.
Some specializations are as follows:
Astrophysics: Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, etc.
Fluid physics: Fluid Physics is the study of behavior of fluids (gas, liquid and plasma) in motion.
Optical Physics” The branch of physics that deals with light and vision, chiefly the generation, propagation, and detection of electromagnetic radiation having wavelengths greater than x-rays and shorter than microwaves.
Geophysics: Geophysics is the physics of the earth and its environment in space; also the study of the earth using quantitative physical methods.
Medical Physics: It is application of physics concepts, theories and methods to medicine. This has tremendous demand in the health sector.
Nuclear Physics: Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies the constituents and interactions of atomic nuclei.
Plasma Physics: It is a field of physics which deals with matter in its plasma phase. Plasma physics is a fundamental subject which covers the areas such as astrophysics, space physics, gas discharge.
Engineering Physics: Engineering physics graduates have employment opportunities with government organisations such as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), and National Physical Laboratory, etc.
Some Organisations are as Follows:
Institute of Physics-- http://www.iopb.res.in
Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science-- http://www.physics.iisc.ernet.in
Indian Centre for Space Physics-- http://csp.res.in/
Indian Institute of Astrophysics-- http://www.iiap.res.in
Institute for Plasma research-- http://www.ipr.res.in
Many people studying physics have excelled in many other sectors which are creative. People from the north-eastern region, apart from being academicians and leading intellectuals, have become good filmmakers and politicians as well. This subject has such demand that all those who complete their studies are certain to get jobs. As we have less science graduates, many school and senior secondary schools lack qualified people to teach physics and science subjects. As there are few institutes in our region, many do not take up this subject but I can give the assurance that anyone completing graduation and post graduation are sure to get some jobs in the teaching field if not in other sectors.
(Ranjan K Baruah is a social activist and career mentor who has conducted career awareness programme in different parts of Assam and Northeast India and can be reached at email@example.com or 98640 55558 for any career related queries.)