Posts tagged ‘science’

Where do physicists work?

Many physicists work in research laboratories — in industry, in universities, and in national laboratories — but that is only a beginning of a catalog of places where physicists can be found. Many teach in high schools, colleges, and universities. Others can be found in hospitals, the military, oil fields, power plants, in the astronaut corps, in museums, in patent law firms, and in management positions in business and government. A young person trained in physics acquires a set of skills that makes him or her a valued employee in many settings.

In research laboratories
Most research scientists are required to teach as well as do research, so a typical day would involve some hours of both, or at least preparation for lectures in addition to research. Experimental research would involve work in the laboratory that could be confined to some part of the day or sometimes days together without a break if the experiment requires continuous data collection that is time bound. Meeting with the research team to plan and discuss the work would take up part of the day. The scientist may need to spend part of her day in the library (although these days, journals on the Net and information available on various topics on the world wide web have cut the time a scientist needs to spend in a library, some amount of time in actual libraries is still essential). Entering experimental data into the computer and obtaining results would take hours on a computer and theoretical and experimental scientists would spend at least fifty percent of their working hours on the computer. With micro labs in place, not only data collection and recording but also drawing inferences from such data is all computerized, and some part of the scientist’s day would go in upgrading her knowledge of essential software.

In industry
Physicists who work in industry may work in the research wing of companies as diverse as those that make aeroplanes and those that make, say, soap. Physics and soap? Listen to what Pramila Sharma, an MSc in Nuclear Physics who now works in the Hindustan Lever Resarch Centre (HLRC), has to say, “My work at HLRC is mainly concerned with making soaps ‘feel’ better. The work has much to do with physics (even though it doesn’t have much to do with my MSc subject, Nuclear Physics). At my job, I try to measure the difference in coefficients of friction of various soaps to see which soap feels better and why it does so. Then I try to incorporate some chemicals (polymers) into the already existing soaps and see if the foam has a better, smoother ‘feel’ now. I keep doing this until the soap ‘feels’ perfect. For carrying out the measurements I mentioned earlier, I have to work on sophisticated instruments like the rheometer, the texture analyser, and do various studies like DSC(differential scanning calorimetry), SEM (scanning electron microscopy) etc.” So, you see, even making a soap that feels right involves a lot of physics!


February 27, 2009 at 5:55 am Leave a comment

Nano Technology in India

Query by a student:
Hi! What is nanotechnology and what are the career opportunities in this field?
Sameer (Delhi)

Reply from our FutureMap counsellor:
Hi Sameer,
Query received from a student:
Nano Technology is an interdisciplinary subject. Many fields of endeavour contribute to nanotechnology, including molecular physics, materials science, chemistry, biology, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. One can study nanotechnology at postgraduate level and also go ahead with Ph.D. For admissions to M. Tech. (Nanotechnology) course candidates must have a B. Tech. / B. E. degree in Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering or Pharmaceutical Technology with at least of 65% marks. Besides other institute IITs and Indian Institute of science are well known for this course. The students with a degree in nanotechnology can find employment opportunities in a number of fields like: Agriculture, Food and Beverage, Genetics, Bio-technology, Space Research, Forensic Science, Environment industry, Medicine, Teaching etc.

February 13, 2009 at 5:44 am Leave a comment

Are you IT material? Qualifications for the career.

Are you IT Material?

You should:
#Be willing to work in front of the computer screen for hours together. It requires you to be glued for long hours in front of your computer. There are instances where people take several days to get their project running.
#Know your computer inside out. You should not get alarmed when your computer shows an error and you know where exactly is the problem coming from. #Be aware of the latest technology from leading software firms. You need to keep on reading computer magazines and surfing web sites to know what are the latest useful softwares available and keep downloading them.
#Help your friends whenever they have a problem with their computer.

You should not:
#Be afraid of experimenting with your computer. (This does not mean you format the computer or dismantle the motherboard.)
#Be afraid of asking questions regarding your computer to your assembler or search for information about how the computer works on web sites.

For this Career, what should I do?

Id you check out the young achievers’ section? You have 11-, 12-year old children achieving world records and with jobs in IT firms. So, the best thing to do is to start now. You can start training yourself in the following ways:
Get a formal graduation, qualification
a. BE/BTech
b. B.Sc (Computers or IT)
c. BCA – Bachelor of Computer Applications
Get a formal postgraduate degree (after graduation)
a. MCA – Master of Computer Applications
b. MCM – Master of Computer Management
Study a course offered by private institutions. These do not get you a formal degree, but a certificate that is of value to employers.
The government has created a certifying authority, DOEACC, so it is best if you do a course that is accredited by the DOEACC. It has defined 4 ‘levels’ of courses:
The ‘O’ Level (Foundation Level): for immediately after 10+2
The ‘A’ Level (advanced diploma level): for graduates and those qualified at ‘O’ level
The ‘B’ Level (graduate level)
The ‘C’ Level (postgraduate level)
Get an industry certification from an international IT company. Several companies like Microsoft, IBM, etc. offer certification courses that are internationally recognized. These companies have authorized several training institutes to train candidates and also conduct the certification examinations. Visit the company web site for more details. You could study abroad, give the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) and do your MS or PhD in the US. Several of the Indian IT gurus did the same. This way you not only get the best education but also are where all the action is.

February 7, 2009 at 7:43 am Leave a comment

Becoming an Engineer

The Engineering Roadmap

So, how do you become an engineer? You start your journey right in Class XI or Plus 1, by choosing the science stream, with Physics, Chemistry and Maths. The next step is to get a BE (Bachelor of Engineering) or BTech (Bachelor of Technology) degree. This is a four-year course, and typically includes lots of practical project work in the final year. There are several different branches of engineering you can study; and unlike other professional courses like medicine or law, you need to choose your branch of study at the very beginning of the course. So, after you decide you want to study engineering, you also need to decide what branch you prefer.
Another option, if you want to get into an engineering career, is to acquire a diploma after your 10+2. There are several specialized diploma courses, which are typically of 3 years’ duration, after which it is possible to get an engineering job. Many people complete their diplomas, and then go in for an engineering degree.
Armed with a BE (or BTech) you are fully equipped to get a job in almost any company that requires engineers. (Almost all major companies do require.) You also have the option of studying further (ME or MTech in India, or MS in the US), or pursuing other postgraduate options like MBA.

Getting into the course:

India has over a thousand engineering colleges, and produces over 1,50,000 engineers every year – probably the largest number in the world. Yet, just as in most things in India, the top-ranked colleges are few, and most serious engineering aspirants covet admission to the top 20-30 colleges. This includes the 6 IITs, the 15 RECs, and another 10-15 reputed institutes.
Admission to these top colleges is based on a number of different entrance exams which you are eligible to take after your 10+2. The main exams are:
The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), that admits students to the 6 IITs, and several other top engineering colleges. This is probably one of the most competitive entrance exams in the world at this level (both in terms of academic standard and ratio of number of seats available to the number of candidates taking the exam). Qualifying through the JEE is a matter of great prestige to students.
The All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) is conducted by the CBSE for admission to a vast number of colleges across India, who reserve 15% of their seats for applicants who qualify through this exam.
The state level common entrance exam is conducted by most states for admission to engineering colleges within the respective state.

The other route:

There is another way to get into private engineering colleges in some states. If you can afford it, you can ‘pay’ for a seat and get into these colleges. This involves pretty large sums of money, but it is still a popular option. However, getting out is not as easy. Once you are in the course, you actually have to pass all your exams before you get your degree, regardless of how you got in.

January 14, 2009 at 7:19 am Leave a comment