Mathematical Physicist

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A mathematical physicist applies mathematics to problems in physics and develops mathematical methods suitable for the formulation of physical theories.

Low-end Salary: 
Median Salary: 
High-end Salary: 

Usually a Ph.D. in mathematics or physics is needed to work as a mathematical physicist. People who want permanent jobs in basic research at universities and government labs need even more training. People with a master's degree in physics often get jobs in manufacturing and applied research and development. Those with a bachelor's degree often work as technicians or research assistants.

Math Required: 

College Algebra Trigonometry Calculus I and II Linear Algebra Differential Equations Topology Combinatorics

When Math Is Used: 

Math is constantly used as a mathematical physicist as they use models and equations to solve a variety of physics-related problems.

Potential Employers: 

About 38 percent of mathematical physicists work in scientific research and development services firms. Another 21 percent work for the Federal Government, mostly in the Department of Defense or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Others work in colleges and universities, usually in research.


The great seventeenth century English physicist and mathematician, Isaac Newton, developed a wealth of new mathematics (for example, calculus and several numerical methods) to solve problems in physics.


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Salary figures from
the current US Bureau of Labor of Statistics website and represent the
90th percentile.

The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.



Figures represent salary potential.


Dr. Cary Oberije, a postdoctoral researcher in The Netherlands, has found that mathematical models can be used to accurately predict patients' responses to treatment. Prediction models were used to analyze lung cancer patients' likelihood of survival and...

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