View Full Version : Qns: Mapping out my choosen path. (Fresh out of A level exam 2010)

12-22-2010, 11:44 PM
Hi everyone, I am a student that had just graduated from a Singaporean Junior College, and had sat for the local A levels exam in November 2010.

To start off, I would like to say a few things about what I would like to do when I am in my mid 30s. My end goal in mind is that I wanted to gain and synthesize knowledge, especially on the quantum mechanics part. (I wanted to earn a PhD in theoretical physics, as I realized that this is the best way to acquire knowledge as there are resources available to me.)
I like to read up on theories in general, through I do not like the practical aspect of physics.

As for my other interests, I do like reading up on history and philosophy, however, my history is limited to the history of physics and the post modern world (starting from world war 1 till now), and my understanding of philosophy is shameful. (I read through a bit of epistemology.)

As for my path, there are two obvious path that I can take. I could either take NUS/Science or I can take the NTU/physics or applied physics, then hopefully, I could do well and go on to a masters/PhD in other universities.

So as for the question that I would like to ask the knowledgeable/enlightened ones:

1) How different is the NUS/Science course as compared to the NTU physics course? When I mean different, I do mean their teaching philosophy or concept, whether they focus more on practical approach or they do elaborate theoretical constructs about different physical principles? This will lead this question, which two courses are better for someone who wants to specialize in theoretical physics)

2) Is there any reputable overseas university that I could apply to further my studies in physics?

Thank you for your patience in reading the question and hope to hear a reply soon.

TL;DR, what path should i take to end up as a theoretical physicist?

01-03-2011, 05:18 PM
If you are really, really interested in the theoretical aspect of physics, don't exclude the possibility of majoring in mathematics. You can have a look at NUS Math curriculum and see if you like it or not: http://ww1.math.nus.edu.sg/course%20structure/ma07-08.htm#III

As for job prospects in Singapore, there are no 'pure physics' research as far as I am aware. A star hires physics graduates for research on nanotechnology and optics, whereas DSO hires physics grads for work on cryptography and other military technology.

Of course, these are just my opinions. Don't take my word for it!

02-05-2011, 06:27 PM
For overseas universities that are "reputable" for physics, Caltech, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Harvard are usually quoted. All five are excellent in physics, but some are stronger in certain sub-field than others i.e. Caltech for astrophysics, Princeton for mathematical physics etc. Figure our your interests during your undergrad and you'd have a clearer picture!

03-06-2011, 02:43 PM
Thanks guys for replying. Sry for the late reply.

In reply to Billthegeek, I heard that NTU is offering a course called mathematical science and another one called physics with mathematics major. And thanks, I will have a look at it.

In reply to mengshuen,

I want to go into quantum electrodynamics sub-field.

What I am thinking is that I go into NTU physics/applied physics course, then after a 4 year straight honors, then i go to do my Doctor of philosophy at some reputable overseas universities.

Then I will try to get a university professor job. Hopefully it will be smooth, but i don't think it will be.

On the other hand, there are some other people who tell me to take my time to look at other sub fields.

So is anyone from NTU physics course. If so, can give more details about it.

PW: Btw, my a levels result, in case for those who want to know, AAA/C with H3 contemporary physics distinction.

03-07-2011, 12:10 AM
Your results are quite good! Congratulations!

Are you considering NUS Physics? I think it's a bigger (and more established) department there.

03-13-2011, 02:17 AM
Okay. I am planning to go to NUS open house on sunday. Thanks for telling me :)