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Advice in Phd choice

  1. May 27, 2010 #1
    Hi guys,

    I need an advise. I would like to start a Phd in physics, but I have not decided in which field yet. My curriculum is in theoretical physics, and my thesis was in cosmology, but I want to change the research field.
    I am looking for something theoretical that:

    1)Still has conceptual problems open,
    2)Requires skillness in math,
    3)Has an effective contact with experiments,
    4)Gives good chance to find career opportunities.

    What do you think could be suitable for me?

    Excuse me for my atrocious english!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2010 #2
    Ok I will take a stab.

    1.) I think every area that has active research has open problems.
    2.) Every theoretical physics problem requires math... you will have to be a little more exact with what you mean.
    3.) This is much more about the exact problem you are working on then the area (in my opinion) and is strongly tied to how you approach the problem.
    4.) Now this can be tough. In my opinion and experience, theory has much less opportunity than experiment for job prospects. I am a postdoc in theoretical physics, so I think I have a decent handle on what is happening in the job arena.

    But if you stick with theory, I would suggest trying to do something that is more applied or computational. As far as sheer numbers of jobs, you should be looking at something in the realm of condensed matter. I think I heard a statistic that about half of all physics researchers are considered to be in the field of condensed matter. That may somewhat have to do with the broad definition of the field, but I sure see a lot of postdocs and tenure track openings with the title.

    Good luck.
  4. Jul 23, 2010 #3
    Thanks for the reply, Norman. I am looking for something interesting about condensed matter physics.

  5. Jul 23, 2010 #4
    Most of the condensed matter people I know do way more math than I do (I do particle astrophysics). I've never had to actually do a physics problem as part of my research, but most of these guys have to do E&M or quantum calculations all the time.
  6. Jul 23, 2010 #5
    LHC phenomenology.

    I don't understand how anyone could be interested in anything else :)
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