• Question: Would you say Quantum Physics includes some form of Engineering? I wish to work at CERN but how or would Engineering come into this?

    Asked by Adam to Matthew, Neil, Pete on 19 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Pete Symons

      Pete Symons answered on 19 Mar 2015:

      Hi Adam,

      High Ambitions working at CERN!! good on you! Quantum Physics is a science but Engineering covers sciences, maths and technology so there there would be some element of engineering. It would also depend on what you wanted to do at CERN.

      If you wanted to help build and maintain the massive facility to enable the science experiments then you would most certainly need some engineering expertise, however if you were wanting to be a boffin in a white coat, analysing the data they got from the science experiments then I would say that is probably more related to quantum physics.

    • Photo: Neil Taylor

      Neil Taylor answered on 19 Mar 2015:

      Hi Adam!

      I think your goal to work at CERN is a very cool one! It’s definitely a dream place to work for a lot of people – finding out about stuff like The Higg’s Boson and antimatter would be awesome!

      I checked out the CERN website (http://home.web.cern.ch/about/engineering), and it turns out that they are employ TEN TIMES (10x !) more engineers and technicians than they do research physicists.

      The engineers construct and the machines/systems and check out their performance, and the technicians make sure that that things run smoothly – repairing/replacing/upgrading when there is a problem.

      Mechanical engineers will be needed to design large scale detectors, vacuums, surfaces and coatings. Software engineers will be required to develop software for communication. Electrical engineers will be required to design the power electronics systems for the particle accelerators… to name a few!

      There are so many things for engineers to be doing alongside the physicists! So if you want to be a part of CERN, there are definitely engineering routes in… You’ve just got to work out what is right for you! 😀

      Hope this helps!