Defence and aerospace
The defence agencies and commercial aerospace industry offer a wealth of opportunities for physicists, from communication solutions and weapons and guidance technology, to software design and component engineering. Around 1% of those with physics degrees move into the combined armed forces each year, which accounts for a significant number of top-end graduates.
Case study: Diverse opportunities in defence
Working at the UK’s defence laboratory gives Gareth Brown the ability to apply his physics and mathematics knowledge to real-world applications – and not necessarily in the ways you might expect.
Case study: Physicists at Aldermaston
The UK's nuclear warheads are designed and maintained by the staff of the Atomic Weapons Establishment. Stephen White explains the vital role played by researchers there.
Case study: Mixing physics and engineering
As an engineer in the naval-nuclear division of Rolls-Royce, Steven Lawler sees himself as an ambassador for physicists working in an engineering environment.
Case study: Looking for space
Kyle Palmer describes how his childhood dream of space travel led to a career at Europe's largest satellite firm
Case study: Operations research needs physicists
Operations researcher Stephen Coulson explains how a physicist's skills are valued in a varied and interdisciplinary field that has expanded far beyond its defence origins