Physics and the EPFL physicist

Physics, questioning the universe, from elementary particles to the galaxies

Mesurements of the mechanical properties of  endothelial cells  by compression between  two  microplates.
Since the dawn of time, humanity wondered about the nature of things and the laws that govern the functioning of the universe. The discovery and the understanding of the matter we are made of and surrounds us, from the  infinitely small up to the infinitely large, from the smaller and ephemeral elementary particle, up to the largest galaxy in the universe, as well as the discovery and knowledge of the mechanisms that govern the organization and the transformation of matter, are the essence of physics.
Great discoveries highlight the development of physics, such as atoms, electron, photon, gravitation, the laws of astronomy, x-ray, radioactivity, relativity, nuclear energy, quarks, the big-bang of the birth of the universe, semiconductors, superconductors…
Photo: A. Herzog, vacuum deposition facility
The EPFL physicist is an academic scientist  able to use discoveries made  in the laboratory to develop technical solutions to modern socio-economic and environmental problems.  As a result, his scientific training is complemented by technical and management of project knowledge and technical problem solving exercises. Despite its practical foundation, the phisics curriculum requires good skills in mathematics, a taste for scientific rigorousness  and a penchant for conceptualizing and abstraction.

What are the career prospects?

The range of career opportunities of the physicist , depending on his inclination, his career path and openings in the labour market is wide enough as to a scientific generalist.
There may be activities in basic research or applied research related to advanced technologies such as thermonuclear fusion, biophysics, superconductivity, quantum photonics, nanotechnology , experiments with large accelerators of particles, but also in management and management of companies and public organisations or in education.
Due to the broad general scientific training, typical employers of our students are medium to large enterprises.