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Physicists study the behaviour of the physical world at the most basic level and find practical ways to apply new knowledge gained from their research in areas of science and technology.
Physicists are usually identified within three broad roles:

  • theoretical physicists, who develop theories or models of how particular aspects of the world work
  • experimental physicists, who test these theories, determining their limits and suggesting new approaches to them
  • applied physicists, who apply these findings in practical settings, such as within industry and through the introduction of new technology.
    There is interaction between all three roles and physicists generally have skills in each of these areas.

    Duties & Tasks
    Physicists may perform the following tasks:
  • observe and measure phenomena in the physical world, from the smallest subatomic particle through to the universe as a whole
  • propose theories and models to explain phenomena
  • use computers to explore the consequences of theories and models
  • build equipment to make new types of measurements, which in many cases have never been attempted before
  • create new ways of understanding observations that have been made
  • develop new materials, products and processes for use in industry, medicine, defence and other areas of research and development.
  • Personal requirements
  • aptitude for analysis and problem-solving
  • enthusiasm for research
  • aptitude for mathematics and computing
  • able to visualise and explain ideas clearly
  • able to work independently or as part of a team.
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