Jerry R. Hobbs - Abstract for "What Physicists Do"
Director, Industrial Outreach
Physics Resources Center
American Institute of Physics
Future Physicists - One Case Study of an Optical/Industrial Physicist
Undergraduate research opportunities and common sense concerning economic circumstances are among the many thresholds any career path may cross. An academic combination of physics and economics played important roles in my non-PhD path through industrial physics.
Some of the research and applications in my career have included nuclear energy physics, positive and negative dispersion management in optical transmission, photocuring polymer physics, fiberoptic evanescent wave signal feedback, flow cytometry systems, and crime-scene investigation equipment. However, the biggest elephants in the room must be recognized when each of us must answer the question to pursue a PhD or not.
Specific examples of how job opportunities were pursued, gained, and lost over a 20-year career path will be included.