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Physicists study and complete research into physics. There are many subsets of physics, ranging from from the tiniest subatomic particles to the largest galaxies. They study what things are made of (matter) and how things behave. Physicists also study energy, how it changes from one form to another.

They use these principles to increase knowledge of nature and the world, and they work in areas which range from the mathematical and abstract, through to basic experimental research, to applied areas such as the development of new materials, electronic and optical devices, medical equipment, and many other products.

Physicists solve problems in nuclear energy, medicine and health, optics, electronics, materials, communications and aerospace technology. Basic research in physics has led to the development of computers, mobile phones, transistors, integrated circuits, television, lasers, magnetic resonance imagers, electron microscopes, superconductors and x-ray machines.

Physicists spend a lot of their time working at a computer. They may also work in a laboratory, workshop or factory. They may also be required to work out in the field collecting and analysing data, and are frequently required to work in teams with other scientists.

Physicists are frequently employed by government departments, including the space and defence departments. Privately, they may be employed by manufacturing and engineering firms.

Salaries range from about £20,500 a year, to over £88,000 a year.


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