In Summary - Laser Physicist
Laser Physicists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Laser Physicist
A Laser Physicist’s job involves investigating laser processes by determining what type of laser and laser conditions to use on varying ‘wafers’. Wafers are a thin slice of semiconductor material, such as crystalline silicon, used in electronics for the fabrication of integrated circuits.
Laser Physicists generally carry out work on behalf of manufacturers of computer chips and memory devices. Work involves devising small features such as holes, trenches and slots on device wafers. Laser physicists will work with a team of engineers in a lab environment. They will work together to produce a series of experimental tests to determine the optimum laser conditions for machining a particular customer sample.
The Laser Physicist is responsible for changing parameters such as laser beam size, laser focus, laser repetition frequency, laser wavelength and laser pulse energy in order to determine their optimum working conditions.
Communication with customers is a vital component of this work so regularly writing detailed and complex reports on the results of experiments carried out on lasers is essential.
Employment opportunities for laser physicists are generally in laboratories working on technology for a range of companies including opticians, hospitals, automotive engineers and computer manufacturers and also working with lasers in the area of climate change.
Employment is also possible in research and lecturing at third level.
Tasks and Activities
- Investigating new laser processes
- Devising experimental testing on lasers
- Determining optimum conditions for machining the lasers on a daily basis
- Assessing laser quality
- Compiling detailed reports for customers
- Altering laser specifications in order to cater for particular requirements
- Perform modelling for a range of laser systems
- Devise and implement solutions to a variety of complex issues regarding lasers.
Analysing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analysing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Skills Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Design, integrate, or test photonics systems or components.
- Develop optical or imaging systems, such as optical imaging products, optical components, image processes, signal process technologies, or optical systems.
- Analyze system performance or operational requirements.
- Write reports or research proposals.
- Assist in the transition of photonic prototypes to production.
- Develop or test photonic prototypes or models.
- Conduct testing to determine functionality or optimization or to establish limits of photonics systems or components.
- Design electro-optical sensing or imaging systems.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, continue education, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in the field.
- Conduct research on new photonics technologies.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Interests - Laser Physicist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
A problem solving mind and an ability to make decisions are essential qualities for a Laser Physicist.
It is vital to be able to perform independent research on complex technical tasks.
Excellent analytical skills are key in order to undertake detailed research and also to independently anticipate, analyse and advise appropriate actions and implement solutions to highly complex issues.
Advanced written and verbal communication skills necessary to author technical and scientific reports and publications, deliver scientific presentations, and interact with a diverse group.
Creativity is also necessary in order to develop new ideas and modify approaches.
Entry Requirements - Laser Physicist
A background in physics or electrical engineering supports the pursuit of a career as a Laser Physicist.
Postgraduate level study is typically required for entry to the workforce at this ranking.
Relevant degree and postgraduate courses are available from a range of universities and IoTs.
A Ph. D. focused on laser physics or electrical engineering is required to reach a high level post including lecturing in this area.
Last Updated: November, 2014
Pay & Salary - Laser Physicist
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Useful Contacts - Laser Physicist
Institute of Physics in Ireland
Tyndall National Institute
STEPS - Engineers Ireland