Advancing My Physics Education for Quantum Gravity Research

In summary, the conversation is about a student asking for guidance on choosing a branch of physics to pursue for a career in teaching and research on Quantum Gravity and String theory. They discuss different branches of physics and the importance of taking various classes to find one's interest. The student also mentions their goal of doing a PhD in the United States and is advised to consider a university with a strong theoretical inclination. They also mention a string theorist, Peter Bouwknegt, who holds a joint position in the Physics and Maths departments at the Australian National University, and discuss the possibility of studying with him for a PhD. The conversation ends with a recommendation for the University of Melbourne's strong particle theory group and coursework.
  • #1
SuperStringboy
74
0
I am an undergraduate student of phyiscs major. If i want to work on Quantum Gravity then do i need to continue MSc Physics? Or Others like High energy phyiscs or particle physics or Astro?

My aim is to be a teacher at a top University and Research on Quantum Gravity & String theory.

Can you guide me? I mean which brunch of physics should i choose, which one is bad for career,how should i advance etc.. just like that.

Thank you.
 
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  • #2
Also thinking about this `career path'.

Personally I majored in Physics/Pure Maths at The University of Sydney and am now doing theoretical particle physics Honours at the University of Melbourne. I'm hoping to do a PhD in the states at some stage.

I've been informed from a string theorist that some important areas of maths for particle physics are representation theory of Lie algebras and Algebraic topology. I've taken neither but if you get a chance it would be adviseable for QG.
 
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  • #3
jdstokes said:
Also thinking about this `career path'.

Personally I majored in Physics/Pure Maths at The University of Sydney and am now doing theoretical particle physics Honours at the University of Melbourne. I'm hoping to do a PhD in the states at some stage.

I've been informed from a string theorist that some important areas of maths for particle physics are representation theory of Lie algebras and Algebraic topology. I've taken neither but if you get a chance it would be adviseable for QG.

Thanks. I will remember.
 
  • #4
SuperStringboy, first of all, you should pick up a brunch of physics that you really like. There are plenty of them: High Energy Physics (HEP), quantum gravity, condensed matter physics, photonics, solid state physics and many, many more!

What would be really useful is to take many classes in different aspects of physics, so that you can realize which field you like, if you're good at it etc. You could also talk to some of your professors in your department about their research, the possibilities of surviving in such a field, the difficulties, the problems and so on.

If you are young don't hurry too much to make a choice, just keep your eyes and ears open and it will hit you some time! There is no reason to be definite about your career at this stage of education. One could enter a (hopefully flexible) graduate school and build one's scientific personality throughout the years!
 
  • #5
Yes, but you might like to think about going to a university with a theoretical inclination. I didn't and ended up having to move city to pursue my ambition.

Just my 2 cents.
 
  • #6
jdstokes said:
Also thinking about this `career path'.

Personally I majored in Physics/Pure Maths at The University of Sydney and am now doing theoretical particle physics Honours at the University of Melbourne. I'm hoping to do a PhD in the states at some stage.

I've been informed from a string theorist that some important areas of maths for particle physics are representation theory of Lie algebras and Algebraic topology. I've taken neither but if you get a chance it would be adviseable for QG.

Which string theorist?
 
  • #7
pivoxa15 said:
Which string theorist?

There's only one, all the others are just different modes of vibration.
 
  • #8
PhysiSmo said:
SuperStringboy, first of all, you should pick up a brunch of physics that you really like. There are plenty of them: High Energy Physics (HEP), quantum gravity, condensed matter physics, photonics, solid state physics and many, many more!

What would be really useful is to take many classes in different aspects of physics, so that you can realize which field you like, if you're good at it etc. You could also talk to some of your professors in your department about their research, the possibilities of surviving in such a field, the difficulties, the problems and so on.

If you are young don't hurry too much to make a choice, just keep your eyes and ears open and it will hit you some time! There is no reason to be definite about your career at this stage of education. One could enter a (hopefully flexible) graduate school and build one's scientific personality throughout the years!


Thanks. Nice words
 
  • #9
Asphodel said:
There's only one, all the others are just different modes of vibration.

ROFL!
 
  • #11
jdstokes said:
Peter Bouwknegt,

He holds a joint position in the Physics/Maths departments at the Australian National University

http://tpsrv.anu.edu.au/Members/bouwknegt

He seems good. Maybe you can study with him for a Phd so you don't have to travel overseas? Why didn't you do honours with him?
 
  • #12
I was considering it but I decided I'd like to learn the standard model of particle physics before I tackle string theory. Plus he's basically the only string theorist in that uni.

University of Melbourne has a strong particle theory group and an excellent coursework which preps you in the standard model: quantum theory (relativistic and nonrelativistic) quantum field theory, general relativity and lots of particle physics. It's by far the best department for particle theory in Australia.
 

Related to Advancing My Physics Education for Quantum Gravity Research

1. What is quantum gravity and why is it important?

Quantum gravity is a theoretical framework that aims to reconcile the principles of quantum mechanics and general relativity, two fundamental theories in physics. It is important because it has the potential to provide a more complete understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe and could potentially answer questions about the origins of the universe and the behavior of matter at incredibly small scales.

2. What skills do I need to advance my physics education for quantum gravity research?

To advance your physics education for quantum gravity research, you will need a strong foundation in mathematics, particularly calculus and linear algebra. You will also need a deep understanding of classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics. Additionally, skills in computer programming and data analysis are essential for conducting research in this field.

3. How can I prepare for a career in quantum gravity research?

To prepare for a career in quantum gravity research, it is important to pursue a solid education in physics, mathematics, and computer science. You may also consider participating in research projects or internships in related fields to gain experience and develop valuable skills. It is also beneficial to stay updated on current research and attend conferences and seminars to network with experts in the field.

4. What are some current challenges in quantum gravity research?

One of the current challenges in quantum gravity research is the lack of experimental evidence to support theories. Many of the proposed models for quantum gravity are currently beyond our ability to test, making it difficult to determine which theory is the most accurate. Another challenge is the mathematical complexity of the subject, which requires advanced techniques and a deep understanding of multiple fields of physics.

5. What are some potential applications of quantum gravity research?

Potential applications of quantum gravity research include advancing our understanding of the early universe, developing new technologies based on quantum effects, and improving our understanding of black holes and other extreme phenomena. It could also lead to advancements in areas such as quantum computing and quantum communication, which have the potential to greatly impact various industries and fields of study.

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