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All You need to Know about Engineering Physics

Have you ever wondered how the universe came into existence? What are black holes and how are they formed? Or, what is at the core of the sun? If you do so, then worry not, you are at the right place. In our everyday life, we come across physics so often, that we don’t even realise it. It is all around us. Every single phenomenon- both natural and artificial- has some physics concept behind it. Thus one cannot stress enough on the importance of physics in our everyday life. The lifestyle that we have today would not have been possible without physicists. All the activities necessary for human living, like, generating energy, transportation, communication, the internet, construction and even cooking, are based on physics, making it indispensable in our lives. This article would focus mainly on engineering physics taught during engineering studies.

Physics not only helps us understand the fundamentals of nature but also helps us appreciate the beauty of nature. Many of the beautiful natural phenomena like rainbows, the northern lights, shooting stars, and comets can be better appreciated if we know the concepts behind them. If you are a kind of person who gets fascinated with learning how nature works, but at the same time, interested in applying those concepts yourself, then a B.Tech in Engineering Physics is the place for you.

What is Engineering Physics at IITs?

Engineering Physics is a bachelor program that is one of a kind. It is a study of combined disciplines of theoretical physics, mathematics and engineering. This is one of the engineering disciplines that have the most theoretical content among others. In India, it is offered only in five institutes, namely, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, and IIT Hyderabad. It is a highly respected program and is quite different from the traditional engineering programs. It aims to bridge the gap between theoretical science and applied engineering. It not only offers a huge number of courses in basic science but also has many application-oriented core engineering courses. It is thus very different from pure sciences too.

Course Content

The first year is usually common with other engineering disciplines. It forms the basis of your concepts for the upcoming years. Here are some of the broad topics dealt with in the following years:

Optics: This course focuses on the behaviour and properties of light and its interaction with different media in a very rigorous manner.

Theory of relativity: This course focuses on the concept of relativity which states that the laws of physics are invariant in all inertial frames and that the speed of light has a constant value in all inertial frames. It is a very interesting course which requires a deep understanding of the subject.

Classical Mechanics: This is a very basic course in physics which focuses on Newtonian Mechanics. Most of you must be familiar with Newton’s Laws. There will be a more extensive dealing of these laws in this course, using advanced mathematical concepts.

Thermal physics and Thermodynamics:  These courses revolve around the heat related subjects, thermodynamics, statistical physics and kinetic theory. Some of the other topics included are Gibb’s free energy, equilibrium, and Bose-Einstein Condensate, among others.

Quantum Mechanics: This subject involves the study of motion and interaction of subatomic particles. Various advanced concepts such as wave-particle duality, quantization of energy, uncertainty principle and correspondence principle are incorporated in this study.

Photonics: This is the basically the study of photons. Light generation, detection, manipulation and its applications (for example, fibre optics) are studied.

Solid State Physics: Like the name suggests, this is the study of solids, that is, rigid matter. Methods such as quantum mechanics, electromagnetism and crystallography are used for this purpose. This forms the basis for material science.

Apart from the above courses, there are a number of advanced physics courses, which one can opt for as electives. These courses are more rigorous treatments of the above subjects. Moreover, as you would have already guessed, all these subjects involve advanced mathematical concepts. These tools are absolutely essential for the study of physics. Hence various mathematical courses are also taught as a part of the core syllabus. Other tools such as data analysis and statistics are also absolutely essential for physicists and thus, these are included as well.

You might be wondering that all the subjects that I have listed so far are theoretical. What about the engineering aspect of this program?

There are a few engineering courses which are a part of the core syllabus too. Few courses from the discipline of electrical engineering are included in the core syllabus of engineering physics. Analog circuits and digital electronics are two among the various courses included. There are a few courses from other departments as well, like energy engineering and material sciences.

What are the career prospects?

Engineering physics has a wide range of careers prospects. Those who love the theoretical aspect of this discipline can choose to do higher studies and take up research opportunities. You could also pursue a career in teaching in a good university after completing your PhD. There are various options for those interested in the application aspect too. As you would have understood from the course content, this is a very broad engineering discipline focusing on the basics of various other fields. It is a fundamental discipline which has applications in almost every other field, from biology to material science and various others. Worldwide a physicist is well respected and also has a broad toolkit. Hence, you can branch out to any field of your interest in the future. A physicist could go into biology, ecology, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, operations research, and even quantitative finance!

Why Engineering Physics?

Well, why not? It has a very interesting curriculum and many exciting career prospects. The fact that it blends science and engineering make it a refreshing course when compared to the other mundane engineering programs. It not only equips you with necessary career skills but also caters to your love and thirst for science. If you feel that physics is your call, then you must definitely give a thought about pursuing this branch. Research well and make a well-informed decision. All the best!

That’s all on Engineering physics for now. Hope this makes for an informative article. You can read all about Biotechnology here. If you have anything to add here, do leave it in the comments’s section. Till then, keep reading Toppr Bytes.

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