Physics is a fundamental science whose insights have a significant impact on our reality, especially in the fields of technology and industry. Our ideas of the world as a whole are also based on research results of physics.
The study field at a glance
Physics tries to capture natural phenomena by quantitative observation and to describe them with mathematical models and theories.
While experimental physics has specialized in measurements, theoretical physics is dedicated to model and theory formation. The intensive cooperation between the two areas leads to a progressive understanding of nature and enables a variety of forms of application and use. Recent examples of the implementation of physical research in technical applications are semiconductor technology, optoelectronics, nanotechnology and laser technology.
Mathematics is the most important auxiliary science of physicists and places high demands on the first-year students.
The study of physics is science-oriented. It aims to convey the theoretical and experimental fundamentals as well as a broad general education in physics. The students are introduced to modern methods of research in order to enable them to work independently. The future physicists should be able to convey physical knowledge and methods.
- In the past few years, a number of interdisciplinary courses of study in the field of applied physics have emerged with essential physics components in order to facilitate professional specializations.
- Astrophysics forms the main focus of astronomy with the physical exploration of celestial bodies (planetary system, sun, fixed stars, interstellar matter) and space.
- The interdisciplinary study of biophysics deals with the application of physical and physical-chemical methods for the investigation of elementary and complex life processes. It combines a sound basic biological-chemical education with a comprehensive physics-mathematical education, including the basics of computer science.
- Medical Physics provides technical solutions for diagnostics and therapy. These include imaging techniques such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as therapeutic measures, such as radiotherapy or the use of laser and UV rays.
- Building physics deals with the physical problems of construction, e.g. sound and heat insulation.
- In addition, physical methods are also important in other areas, e.g. in geophysics or metallurgy.
Contents of the course
In the bachelor’s program basic education in experimental and theoretical physics is the focus, namely in mathematics and in other physical and non-physical subjects (especially chemistry and computer science). In addition, there are university-specific areas of specialization and the teaching of experimental and theoretical working methods (for example, handling of physical devices, use of computers, measurement and evaluation methods). In addition to lectures, exercises and internships are the most important forms of mediation.
The master's program offers a special education in several subjects of physics. It is shaped by the scientific profile of the University and the Department of Physics and is divided into a specialist in-depth and a research phase, in which a scientific issue is dealt with independently.
Possible careers after graduation
Physicists work in university and research institutions as well as in industry, for example in materials research, energy technology, mechanical and instrument engineering, medicine (technology), the semiconductor industry or in the optical / opto-electronic industry. Many physicists also work in related technical and scientific professions, for example as computer scientists, mathematicians or as engineers. The patent system and the science journalism offer further fields of activity.
Many physicists also work as freelancers, in particular as appraisers and experts.
Astronomers mainly work in public service, in particular in astronomical research institutions (university observatories with affiliated institutes, research institutes) as well as at public observatories and planetariums.
Biophysicists work in basic science and applied research institutions (universities and research institutes) as well as in research departments of industry. Further application possibilities are found in the pharmaceutical and food industry as well as in scientific and medical device construction.