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Old 11-02-2012, 06:16 AM #17
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Default Re: Looking for a Career in Lasers....need advice!

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Originally Posted by prosnurfer View Post
like evryone else said go for a ee degree and then look in to optics, you might be intrested in microprocessing and all the tools and elements involved in that. i currently work in a cleanroom on a nikon stepper tool its a 30w laser expose system that takes part in developing a immage on a silicone wafer. all day i troubleshoot and play around with these tools and im sorrunded by endless electronics and parts, most fun! theres alot to do with lasers everywhere you just have to find the specific field. ee and optics is the way to go, but hey you might find somethign else along the way.
Sounds like you have a lot of fun there! I'm jealous.


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Old 12-03-2012, 09:09 PM #18
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Default Re: Looking for a Career in Lasers....need advice!

But since the OP said he is good in physics, he will find that these optoelectronics and Btech courses have too much of an "engineering flavour". Even though in EE they cover a lot of the same material, it is still different from what is being done in optics or electrophysics courses in the physics department. If you want a hands on technician/engineer career (not a scientist) you have to do either EE or optoelectronics. If you want the actual science do physics.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:49 PM #19
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Default Re: Looking for a Career in Lasers....need advice!

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But since the OP said he is good in physics, he will find that these optoelectronics and Btech courses have too much of an "engineering flavour". Even though in EE they cover a lot of the same material, it is still different from what is being done in optics or electrophysics courses in the physics department. If you want a hands on technician/engineer career (not a scientist) you have to do either EE or optoelectronics. If you want the actual science do physics.
Ehh. There are product test and development engineers that might fit in that category of more "hands on", but a far bigger majority of EEs I know do work in design, simulation, and management. Technicians and engineers have very different occupations. Physicists tend to end up back in academia where a PHD is usually required, and is attained since a BS. in physics is difficult to land a good job with.

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:37 PM #20
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Default Re: Looking for a Career in Lasers....need advice!

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Ehh. There are product test and development engineers that might fit in that category of more "hands on", but a far bigger majority of EEs I know do work in design, simulation, and management. Technicians and engineers have very different occupations.
Yes, there are different kinds of electrical engineering. But physicists have the same kind of split, you have theorists and experimentalists. Again the latter divides in two: those who are lab experimenters, and others that know what experiments are worth doing and how it should be done.

Unlike many engineers (not all) what physicists rarely do is the nitpicking improvements or making marketable products. But there is lots of physics research on lasers, an area now is the ultrafast optics that has to do with sub-picosecond pulses and their propagation in optic fibres esp in nonlinear optics. Supercontinuum generation and "fibre lasers" are other hot areas many graduate students pay attention to.

Quote:
Physicists tend to end up back in academia where a PHD is usually required, and is attained since a BS. in physics is difficult to land a good job with.
This is a good and important point that OP should consider.

Quote:
"Physicists discover what is, engineers create what has never been"
It is true that physicists normally discover, document and explain new physical phenomena. BUT they also do create things that have never been. An example of this is the laser itself, for the very first time ever it was discovered and created by the top-notch experimental physicists who were doing microwave spectroscopy with masers. EEs expanded the field by tinkering and improving them, but much of their work was really outgrowths of physicist's basic concept.
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