Physics: Definition, Branches, Scope, and Career Choices Available

Understanding Physics, Its Branches, Scope, and More

Physics is one of the most interesting science subjects that offers fundamental knowledge on research and technology advancements. More than reading, physics demands imagination. The latest technology driving the world surrounding us wouldn’t have been possible without Physics. Physics is an important subject that plays a vital role in humankind’s life. 

Every country worldwide must support studies relate to physics. This is because physics plays a significant role in almost all parts of life. Before proceeding to understand the scope of physics and the career options after pursuing a degree in physics, you must know what is physics definition?

Physics Definition in Simple Terms

Thinking what is physics in science? Well, the scientific studies concerning physical phenomena like the motion of matter and other relevant subjects like force and energy are known as physics. Physics is an important subject given how it helps us to understand the world we live in. The subject also assists us in understanding energy and matter.  

Branches of Physics and Their Definition

Physics is composed of several interdisciplinary subjects and branches. These branches are extremely important for those who wish to pursue further studies on the subject. The branches of physics are:

What are the 8 Branches of Physics?

Classical Physics

Classical physics is one of the most popular branches of physics whose origination dates back to the 1900s. Every matter that came under physics discipline was known as modern physics. It majorly deals with gravitation and the various laws of motion. Conceptualized by James Clark and Sir Isaac Newton, the theories comprise Maxwell’s kinetic theory and thermodynamics theory. 

Classical physics deals with energy and matter.  However, both energy and matter are dealt with differently. Sometimes we also call Classical Physics ‘Physics’.

Modern Physics

Modern Physics dates with quantum mechanics and theories related to relativity. Pioneered by Albert Einstein and Max Plank, this branch of physics doesn’t look up to matter or energy as different entities. Rather they consider them as two forms of each other. Both Max Plank and Albert Einstein were the first to conceptualize the theories related to quantum mechanics and relativity. 

If you were curious to know which branch of physics deals with energy, then modern physics is the one.

Nuclear Physics

Nuclear Physics studies the atomic nuclei interactions, behaviour, structure and constituents. This branch of physics studies a broader study area and has extended its scope in recent times. The principles and methodologies used in this branch of physics find their applicability in the research and academic sectors. Nuclear physics is used in agricultural, industrial, medicines, imaging, magnetic resonance, nuclear weapons and power generation as well.

Atomic Physics

Atomic physics is one of the branches in physics that deals with a nucleus and atom composition. This branch focuses on studying and understanding electrons’ behaviour in the shells surrounding the nucleus. All parts of neutral atoms, ions, and electrons are studied in atomic physics. The first study brought out about atomic physics was that all matter is made of atoms.

Mechanical Physics

This branch of physics understands the motion of material objects and how forces influence them. Also termed mechanics, mechanical physics can be classified into two primary branches:

  • Classical Mechanics
  • Quantum Mechanics

While classical mechanics studies physical objects’ laws of motion and how it is caused by forces. Quantum mechanics on the other hand deals with the behaviour of electrons and more smallest particles.


Mechanics is one of the branches of physics that deals with both the motion and movement of physical objects when they are at rest and when they are resting and when they undergo a force. Mechanics studies the relationship between various concepts like motion, matter, and force. It also deals with the power, energy, force, friction and gravitation displacement, and the law of motion.


One of the most significant branches of physics, optics studies lights, and their properties. This is the branch of physics that deals with light and studies its behaviour and its properties, the interaction of light with matter and the changes in their interaction and behaviour. Infrared light, ultraviolet and visible light are also studied in this brand. Optics comprises two branches

  • Physical 
  • Geometrical Optics

If you are wondering what is physical science, then here is the definition for you. Physical science focuses on the nature of light followed by other attributes while geometrical optics is concerned with the interaction of light with various devices like mirrors and lenses.


Introduced in the 19th century when scientists were working on steam engines, thermodynamics is concerned with different forms of energy like heat. This branch of physics studies the energy transfer from one form to another. Three different thermodynamic laws form the pillars of the branch.


Astrophysics is one of the different branches of physics which includes space science as one of its subset that studies the composition of celestial objects. Astronomy science and its branches find their roots back in the famous Greek philosophers who decided to study space and its related components. However, the study of astronomy tradition and its study was transformed by Newton and Galileo. 

The cosmology study and planetary science are known as the sister sciences, given how it closely related to astrophysics. For those interesting in knowing which branch of physics has more scope, then astrophysics is your answer.

Career Opportunities Available for Students Pursuing Higher Studies in Physics

A Bachelor’s in Physics degree prepares the student for a vast range of career scope. Once the candidates complete the course, they might undertake the following job roles:

  • Lab Assistant
  • Teacher
  • Research Analyst

If a candidate decides to focus on different academic engagement through various courses: M.Sc, Ph.D., Ph.D. dual degree or something similar, then they can even consider job roles of either a scientist or a lecturer.

Higher Studies in Physics

Further graduation, candidates can decide to take up higher studies with an M.Sc in Physics course. A master’s degree course not only improves their technical knowledge but also enhances their analytical skills as well. The M.Sc course focuses on various disciplines like optics, astrophysics, classic and quantum mechanics, etc. On bagging an M.Sc degree in Physics, one can choose from a plethora of career scopes in the public and private sectors. Entrance examinations determine admissions to most colleges.

Some of the most famous entrance examinations that candidates are required to give to enroll themselves in reputable colleges are:

  • For IITs, students have to give JAM (Joint Admission Test for Masters)
  • To enroll at Delhi University, the students have to give Delhi University Entrance Examination DUET.
  • For admissions into National Institute for Science Education and Research, students have to take National Entrance Screening Test (NEST).
  • To get admission into JNU, students have to sit for Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Examination (JNUT).
  • For IPU, one has to give Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test (IPU CET).
  • For BITS, you would need to pass the Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT).
  • For IISER, students need to give IISER Aptitude Test (IAT)

PhD in Physics

Candidates are also welcome to do their Ph.D. in physics to advance in their respective academic roles. The Ph.D. program helps students to boost their knowledge in specialized fields and enhance their research aptitude. Advance degree programs like Ph.D. or M.Sc can open doors to a plethora of career scopes. Some of the popular job roles one can consider are:

  • Subject-Matter expert
  • Biophysicist
  • Research Scientist
  • Physics Professor
  • Natural Science expert
  • Research Faculty
  • Nanotechnologist

All of these well-paid jobs are in high demand. The top organizations like Solid State Physics Laboratory (SSPL) Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), and Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) hire candidates with expertise and knowledge in higher study credentials.

Job Opportunities in the Public Sector

Once candidates have completed their B.Sc in Physics, they may seek jobs in the public sector. Some of the job roles available in the public sector are researchers, professors, radiologists, lab technicians, etc. Some of the government organizations where physics graduates can look for jobs and are hired are:

  • DRDO
  • Physical Research Laboratory 
  • Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
  • Nuclear Science Centre
  • Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)

To bag a job in the public sector, the candidates can give state or central-level examinations. Candidates can also come across various contractual-based jobs in the public sector as well. Candidates having a bachelor’s degree in Physics can seek various government sector jobs through examinations held by public sector ventures like:

  • Indian Railways
  • Public Sector Banks
  • Indian Forest Services (IFS)
  • Staff Selection Commission (SSC)
  • Public Service Commission (STATE PSC)
  •  Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Job Opportunities in the Private Sector

Apart from the plethora of scope in the public sector, there is an abundance of the scope of physics graduates in the private sector companies as well. A graduate in physics can apply for employment in the private sector both in junior placements and entry-level placements. Once they have gained experience, there is an excellent scope of advancement into senior-level positions. The senior-level positions comprise technical, administrative and managerial.

Top private sector companies that hire physics graduates are:

  • Atomic Labs
  • General Electric Digital (GE)
  • Analog Devices
  • Tech Mahindra’s
  • Maruti Udyog
  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Some of the job roles available for candidates that complete their education are given below.


A physicist is an expert who studies and explores the interaction of energy and matter. The physicist conducts experiments and looks into the Physics theories in detail to conclude.  While a Ph.D. degree holder can qualify as a physicist. Even B.Sc in Physics can work as a technician or research assistant. This is a popular scope of physics. However, for better growth and to maintain his job position as a physicist, one must pursue higher studies like Ph.D. or M.Sc.

Lab Technician

A lab technician is a specialized individual who keeps up with the maintenance of equipment besides managing them, preparing samples, evaluating tests, and helping with other laboratory procedures. The role of a lab technician is completely lab-based. They can either work solo or as a team. Additionally, they also look after summary preparation, conducting reviews, report writing, procedure demonstration, and data analysis.

Content Developer

Content developers research plans and develop content for different purposes. It is the best scope of physics. However, a physics graduate would develop content for researching documents, instruction manuals or even academic publications. The content developers have extensive knowledge of applied physics and theoretical fundamental principles. 

Academic Counsellor

An academic counsellor can provide solutions and recommendations to candidates regarding their scope and future study plans. The academic counsellor might be hired by universities, consultancies, colleges and high schools. The counsellors are responsible for offering advice to students and helping them pick the right career path based on their interests and qualifications. The counsellor must make sure the students receive ample opportunities.

Subject Matter Expert

Subject-matter experts are responsible for developing materials for examinations, manuals, and books. The professionals must have a vast knowledge of certain topics that fall under their domain. They collaborate with other experts like instructional designers, technical writers, and psychometricians to develop useful documents related to instructions and academics. 

Junior Research Fellow

A junior research fellow finds solutions to research-related problems through deep evaluations and in-depth assessments. The junior research fellow might help the senior academicians, scientists, and even researchers with various academic research assignments including textual material presentation, collating, processing, and developing in-depth reports and presentations.

Quality Control Manager

The quality control managers ensure the best quality of processes, services, and products by evaluating results and offering feedback and support to the professional team. The quality control managers might also try to evaluate the requirements of customers to develop the best quality control procedures for both services and products. 

This run is inclusive of making sure that all the procedures adhere to the pre-established safety and health norms. They look after product development procedures right from the scratch, ensuring zero deviation from top quality standards.


A candidate might seek the job role of a professor as a scope of physics in the future in either private or public institutions after the Ph.D. program. The professor’s sole duty includes teaching both graduate and post-graduate students in different colleges and universities based on their qualifications. A professor might also be engaged in writing and publishing academic texts and research papers.

Research Scientist

Research scientists are engaged in curating laboratory experiments and evaluating the derived information from them. The research scientist might work on different projects for both private and government organizations, universities, and research organizations. The duties of a research scientist include planning experiments and conducting them, recording and evaluating derived information, conducting fieldwork, collecting samples, etc.

Physics Lecturer

Candidates with extensive knowledge of physics can seek jobs in academies and institutes as a lecturer in physics if they are finding for a suitable scope in physics. The physics lecturer is a decent job role with a decent salary structure. Furthermore, they can also take up a master’s degree to expand their career.

Radiologist Assistant

A radiologist assistant is an expert who with the help of the following diagnoses ailments and injuries:

  • Positron Emission Tomography
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Medical Imaging

The physics graduates can seek the job role of a radiologist assistant if they have good knowledge of the emission, devices, and rays and know to professionally handle them. Hopefully, you now have the answer to ‘physics a good career?”

Physics is an exciting subject that blends both practical and theoretical knowledge. For candidates interested in pursuing their knowledge in statistics, optics, semiconductors, quantum mechanics, and more, various colleges are offering B.Sc and M.Sc programs in the subject. 

Project Bot
Want to know more about robotics, computer science, and other interesting scientific topics? Project Bot is your guide! Explore everything from mechanical engineering to chemistry, and much more.