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Are experimental high energy physics jobs this boring?


New member
Hello everyone. First of all allow me introduce my self briefly. I'm a guy from not that high progressed country of particle physics, and i graduated almost a year ago with degree of a bachelor in physics. I was a top student in my uni and got some prestigious scholarships. Just like many other people i chose physics because i want to know about the fundamental building block of the universe. After graduation, i got employed as a research assistant in experimental high energy physics lab in an institute of my country, and i didn't choose experimental hep out of my interest, i wanted to be in a group of theoretical hep, but a position availability was as so at that time. Well, you may tell me that how luck you are for getting employed with an undergrad degree, etc, and that's may be so, but truth is position is not that competitive here. Anyway, ever since i've worked here, i'm constantly unmotivated and doing research seems boring. I feel like i'm a programmer and not a physicist etc. I know writing code is mandatory everywhere around the world. What i'm saying is the reality of science is not like romanticized version of science we see from tv shows and books. This experimental side has also influenced my theoretical interest as i'm losing my interest here also. I think experimental hep labs should hire programmers, not physicists. My interest is leaning towards earth science now. Has anyone find hep to be boring?
The sad fact is that junior researchers are both cheaper and more effective for the job than programmers. The reason for the latter is that you know the objectives of the software. (Though I also suggest you try to imagine managing non-specalised programmers for this sort of work before compaining about not employing them).
In practice, if you want to do your own research you either have to do it on your own account or register for a PhD. It is likely you will need a masters first, which I imagine will be closer to your happiness zone. Keep applying for such things wherever your institution has sufficient reputation. Stick with your present employer if they will support you with your qualifications.
I would add that real research does take patience and application, but I expect you already know that.

P.S. I had an experimental physics job for a while. I was lucky to have a great boss who guided me with the design of experiments (I imagine it would have been quicker for him to do it himself the first few times). This and assessing the end results were the interesting/enjoyable parts of the work and made the pure legwork worthwhile ("pure legwork" included programming, and physically operating the measurements on equipment that had only been designed for manual work - it was a very long time ago).

Understanding the constraints and limitations of experiments turned out to be very useful later when working more as a theoretician, BTW.