Powerful Geography



Main Topic: Physical Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment & Society

Overview:  Physicists explore the fundamental properties and laws that govern space, time, energy, and matter. They may study theory, design and perform experiments, or apply their knowledge in developing materials or equipment. Many physicists work in applied research. They use their knowledge to develop technology or solve problems in areas such as energy storage, electronics, communications, and navigation. Others work in basic research to develop theories that explain concepts such as what gravity is.  Physicists typically work on research teams with engineers, technicians, and other scientists.

Experimental physicists develop equipment or sensors to study properties of matter, create theories, and test theories through experiments. Theoretical and computational physicists develop concepts that predict properties of materials or describe unexplained results. Although all of physics involves the same fundamental principles, physicists generally specialize in one of many subfields. The following are examples of physicist job titles: atomic, molecular, and optical physicists, computational physicists, condensed matter and materials physicists, health physicists, medical physicists, particle and nuclear physicists, plasma physicists, and quantum information physicists.

Geophysicists use the principles of physics to learn about the Earth’s surface and interior. They also study the properties of Earth’s magnetic, electric, and gravitational fields.

Geographers at work:  Geophysicist

Recommended College Courses:  Physical geography, environmental geography, geographic information science

Skills:  Understanding and assessment of physical features (soils, topography, hydrology), environmental mapping and modeling, geographic information systems, computer and database systems

Occupation Group: Life, Physical, and Social Science

Learn more about Physicists from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor:  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/physicists-and-astronomers.htm#tab-2

Written by Christopher Anderson