Do you often think about how the universe works? What’s inside a black hole? Why does light travel with a constant speed of 3×10^8 m/s? OR why does everything that goes up, falls back on the earth?
These are some of the most intriguing questions of physics. But, these questions were not directly answered or proven. They took years of time and several brilliant minds to know why things work the way they do.
The solutions to all these questions started as a theory. But, what is a theory?
A theory is an assumption or an explanation of some aspect of the natural world.
How would it be, if you get to go into the realm of your imagination and just keep exploring the universe and finding out how things work in your surroundings.
For that, you need to be a Theoretical Physicist.
And how can you become a theoretical physicist in India? That’s what I will be explaining to you all in this step by step guide.
What is Theoretical Physics?
Theoretical physics is a branch of physics that deals with the understanding of various phenomenons that take place around us on an everyday basis.
Theoretical physics assign mathematical systems to explain and predict natural phenomena.
These predictions are then observed or experimented upon and the conclusion of the observations and experimentations concludes if a theory is just a guess or has solid proof to back them.
Why learn Theoretical Physics?
The study of theoretical physics helps us shape the world around us. It helps us predict and forecast the behavior of certain elements of the natural world. These elements can then be studied in depth to gain an understanding of the universe. The study of theoretical physics can also help us invent tools and technology to benefit mankind.
What is the scope of Theoretical Physics in India?
With all the young and brilliant minds of India and the steady development in the educational and research sectors, India will be the world leader in the field of research in the upcoming years.
With the growing number of research centers and institutes in India, Theoretical Physics is going to be one of the most prestigious careers in India.
How to become a Theoretical physicist in India?
To become a theoretical physicist, one must not only fulfill all the qualifications but one must also have a basic interest and passion to follow and learn physics.
One must totally devote himself to the study of physics. Understand the basic principles of universal laws. Keep an open mind towards learning new things and getting challenged. Have a can-do attitude in learning. And a never-ending love for physics.
Steps to become a Theoretical Physicist
Now that you know what theoretical physics is and what are the pros of being a theoretical physicist, it’s time for me to take you through the steps of becoming a theoretical physicist in India.
Developing an interest
To make a career in a field like theoretical physics, it is extremely important to not only have an interest in physics but you also need to be passionate about it.
If you are already passionate and curious to know how the universe works, it wouldn’t be that difficult. But, for those who are starting new, you might need to read a few books, watch sci-fi movies, watch YouTube videos, or attend seminars to kick start your thought process. Once you develop an interest, it’s time to gain the necessary skills.
Learning the skills needed
Now that you have developed an interest, you need to be skilled in certain things. Since mathematics is the language physicists use to describe everything, it is important for you to learn as much as you can about this language.
Although all of the mathematics might come to use somewhere or the other, there are certain topics you’ll deal with almost every day. These topics include calculus, trigonometry, probability, etc.
Obtaining a necessary degree
Theoretical physics isn’t a career where you can excel without a college degree. So it’s necessary for you to have a degree in physics as well. While you can pursue your degree from a local college, I wouldn’t recommend that. I would want you to pursue your education from India’s top institutes if you really want to be at the apex of your field.
To help you out, we have made a list of top research institutes in India.
You should definitely check out that list and have an aim to study at one of them.
Planning a career in Theoretical Physics
Once you start with your education, I would request you to gain experience in the field through internships and fellowships. There are a lot of professors who would need your help to complete their research and they might hire you as an intern. Or if you work hard enough and take admission in any one of the below-mentioned institutes, I am pretty sure that you will have a lot of opportunities coming your way. You just have to be mindful of them and don’t shy out.
Once you gain experience and network with the people from the industry, it will be easier for you to find your career path.
Where to Study Theoretical Physics in India?
There are very few colleges or institutes in India which focus on the theoretical part of physics. Most colleges offer degree courses only in applied physics.
However, there are a few institutes that focus on research and development and these would be the best places to satisfy your curiosity.
We have listed a list of some best research institutes in India below. Check out their websites to find out more about the courses they offer and then shortlist the ones that interest you the most.
Find out more about what entrance tests do these institutes follow or if they have their own selection process. Start preparing for their entrances and it would also be helpful to network with people who are alumni or a faculty member in the institute of your interest.
Top Theoretical Physics Colleges in India
Are you looking for the best colleges to pursue a career in theoretical physics? Follow the list of some of the best research institutes in the country.
Harish Chandra Research Institute
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Centre for Theoretical Physics – JMI
Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore)
Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay
Indian Institute of Technology – Kanpur
Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur
Indian Institute of Technology – Roorkee
Banaras Hindu University
University of Delhi
Indian Institute of Technology – Madras
National Institute of Technology – Rourkela
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research – Pune
We hope that this article helped you answer a lot of questions that were there in your mind. If you think we helped you, please share these articles with your fellow students and friends as this might be something that they would be looking for as well.
In the end, I just wish that you all work hard and achieve your goals.