Physicists

This occupation is expected to grow rapidly.
Description

Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.

Sample Job Titles
Biophysics Scientist
Health Physicist
Physicist
Research Consultant
Research Physicist
Research Scientist
Scientist
Skills
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Abilities
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Knowledge
Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Tasks
Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.
Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.
Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.
Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.
Direct testing and monitoring of contamination of radioactive equipment, and recording of personnel and plant area radiation exposure data.
Observe the structure and properties of matter, and the transformation and propagation of energy, using equipment such as masers, lasers, and telescopes to explore and identify the basic principles governing these phenomena.
Develop theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and apply these theories and laws to problems in areas such as nuclear energy, optics, and aerospace technology.
Teach physics to students.
Work Activities
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Personality Traits
Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.