What is the main goal of a physicist?

  • Helena Kudiabor
  • Sep 05 2023

A career as a physicist is a great option for someone interested in pursuing physics further. You can specialise in an area of physics you’re interested in (e.g. medicine or energy), and conduct research which could lead to new discoveries.


What is a physicist?

A physicist is a person who studies physics, a subject which is concerned with the interactions of matter and energy and how they came about. Studying the interactions of every single piece of matter is incredibly broad, so physicists tend to specialise in an area of physics.

Examples include:

  • Medical physics: applying physics concepts to the medical field, in order to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease
  • Astrophysics: understanding astronomical objects (stars, planets, black holes) and the universe itself
  • Environmental physics: the impact of environmental factors (excess rainfall) on physical processes on earth

What is the main goal of a physicist?

Physicists do what they do in order to gain a better understanding of how everything in the universe works at a fundamental level. Physicists research things like gravity, dark matter and particles, to understand how they work and their relationship to each other. 

In addition to how fascinating these discoveries can be, physicists also work to make discoveries that improve the world we live in. Without the understanding of physics we have, we wouldn’t have things like MRI scanners, telecommunications, or robust infrastructure.

Are there still things physicists haven’t discovered yet?

Despite the sheer number of amazing discoveries that physicists have made, there are still many unanswered questions. These questions can be divided into two main categories: theoretical (meaning current theories cannot explain observed phenomena) and experimental (meaning it’s a challenge to design an experiment to investigate further). Here are some questions that remain unanswered:

  • Does the theory of everything exist? Is there a theory that links together and explains all the universe’s phenomena?
  • How do animals sense the earth’s magnetic field?
  • What does matter consist of?

. . . which is where you come in!

A career as a physicist is a great opportunity for you to conduct research into an area of physics you’re interested in, and learn more about the fundamentals of the universe. As a physicist, you’ll spend your time designing experiments or collaborating with others in the field, analysing the results, and presenting your findings at conferences or in journals. Click here for more information about what being a physicist is like. At the end of the day, who knows, you could be part of the team that makes a major breakthrough in physics research!