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What They Do

Physicists Career Video

About This Career

Conducts research into physical phenomena, develops theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devises methods to apply physical laws and theories.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Science and Mathematics pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Performs complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
  • Analyzes data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
  • Describes and expresses observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.
  • Designs computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.
  • Writes research proposals to receive funding.
  • Teaches physics to students.
  • Reports experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.
  • Conducts research pertaining to potential environmental impacts of atomic energy-related industrial development to determine licensing qualifications.
  • Observes 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.
  • Develops theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and applies these theories and laws to problems in areas such as nuclear energy, optics, and aerospace technology.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Biophysics Scientist
  • Health Physicist
  • Research Consultant
  • Research Physicist
  • Research Scientist
  • Scientist
  • Medical Physicist


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  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733