Applied physics is the application of physics to the cause of helping us solve our problems. Applied physicists use physics to conduct research to help design and develop new technologies or solve engineering problems.
As an example, in radiation therapy departments of hospitals, medical physicists measure and calculate the radiation doses given to patients with cancer. Research concerned with improving dosimetry (the measurement, of the ionizing radiation dose absorbed by the human body) for the treatment of cancer patients is considered an applied physics job.
It is an extremely invaluable degree and a field where you can really make a difference depending on what line of work you wish to go into. However, as with most things, work experience is key if you want to pursue a career in applied physics. Make use of any and all opportunities you are given, such as an industry placement, or get involved with specialist groups of professional institutions, such as the Institute of Physics! Even go as far as looking for a part-time job in a laboratory or technician assistant if you want a career in science. Every bit of experience you get will help tremendously when finding employment after university in this field.
Typical industries which employ applied physicists include; aerospace and defence, education, energy, engineering, instrumentation, manufacturing, oil and gas and science and telecommunications.
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