Physicists conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.

  • Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
  • Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
  • Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.
  • Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.
  • Write research proposals to receive funding.
  • Teach physics to students.
  • Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.
  • Conduct research pertaining to potential environmental impacts of atomic energy-related industrial development to determine licensing qualifications.
  • Observe the structure and properties of matter, and the transformation and propagation of energy, using equipment such as masers, lasers, and telescopes, to explore and identify the basic principles governing these phenomena.
  • Develop theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and apply these theories and laws to problems in areas such as nuclear energy, optics, and aerospace technology.
  • Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.
  • Develop standards of permissible concentrations of radioisotopes in liquids and gases.
  • Conduct application evaluations and analyze results to determine commercial, industrial, scientific, medical, military, or other uses for electro-optical devices.
  • Develop manufacturing, assembly, and fabrication processes of lasers, masers, infrared, and other light-emitting and light-sensitive devices.
  • Advise authorities of procedures to be followed in radiation incidents or hazards, and assist in civil defense planning.
Work Context
  • Electronic Mail — 93% responded "Every day".
  • Spend Time Sitting — 66% responded "Continually or almost continually".
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 67% responded "A lot of freedom".
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 76% responded "A lot of freedom".
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 54% responded "Every day".
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 46% responded "Extremely important".
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 35% responded "Extremely important".
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Work Activities
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Apply mathematical principles or statistical approaches to solve problems in scientific or applied fields.
  • Analyze geological or geographical data.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Develop theories or models of physical phenomena.
  • Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists.
  • Operate laboratory or field equipment.
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  • Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology
  • Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
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  • Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Using mathematics to solve problems.
Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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Mathematical Reasoning
  • The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Number Facility
  • The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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You might use software like this on the job:

Analytical or scientific software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB Hot Technology
  • RSI interactive data language IDL software
  • SciLab
  • SciGraphica
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica
  • Video analysis software
  • Vector Fields OPERA-3d
  • Systat Software SigmaPlot
  • Synergy Software KaleidaGraph
  • Statistical software
  • Spectroscopy software
  • Spectral Dynamics STAR
  • Radiation dose calculation software
  • Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System EPICS
  • Dose modeling software
  • Criss Software XRF11
  • COMSOL Multiphysics
  • Aptech Systems GAUSS
  • GNU Octave
  • Gnuplot
  • OriginLab Origin
  • CERN Physics Analysis Workstation PAW
  • Maplesoft Maple
Presentation software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint Hot Technology
Data base user interface and query software
  • Structured query language SQL Hot Technology
  • Oracle software Hot Technology
  • Microsoft Access Hot Technology
  • MySQL Hot Technology
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