How does nature work? How can we use its concepts? By making models and formulating natural laws, we can describe and predict the natural world.
Physics is a 'hard' science: it is concerned with hard figures,
precise and pure measurements. These are used to produce models and
explain natural phenomena.
The Bachelor's programme in Physics lasts three years. During your first year, you will study basic subjects such as mechanics, special relativity, and electricity & magnetism. You will also take practical courses. During this year, you can choose between four tracks:
- Biophysics & Medical Physics
- Energy & Environmental Physics
- Particle Physics
Physics graduates have excellent opportunities on the job market. You can work as a researcher at a company or an institute, or for example as a consultant, because you will have the analytical skills that are both needed and wanted to solve complicated questions in such environments.
I like the idea of working on an unsolved problem
'I had to write a research proposal as part of a Master's in Nanoscience. I submitted the proposal to NWO and they gave me a grant for my research!
I work at the interface of Physics and Chemistry, studying perovskite materials which are used in solar cells. We are not sure exactly how they work, which is why we are studying their structural properties. I’m regularly at my desk reading or drawing graphs, but I also use several laboratories on a daily basis to do chemistry experiments, X-ray diffraction or to measure the electrical properties of the material. I also give tutorials and I’m supervising a Master’s student. I like it here; I like the idea of working on an unsolved problem. And we have a close-knit research team; we have lunch together every day.’
Machteld Kamminga - PhD student at Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
Skills and common sense
Hedde studied Applied Physics and works for Thaesis, a consultancy in Utrecht. As a strategic advisor, he operates at the interface of the consultancy's various activities. He advises on everything from company transformation processes to mergers and acquisitions. Although this apparently has little to do with physics, he benefits from the analytical skills he learned, as well as a good dose of common sense.
Physics is amazing
I decided to study Physics, because Physics is amazing! I'm from Chennai, India, and I decided to study in Groningen, because it seemed like the course structure was tailored for me in terms of specializations and academic rigour. I find Physics intuitive and the course isn't that difficult. There are just many tasks in very small time scales, which makes the program time intensive if you wish to perform well.
So the biggest advice I can give you: University is not an extension of school, no matter where you're from. You will need to develop effective systems if you want to perform well, even if you didn't need one back in school.