Best Theoretical Physics Masters Degree in Continental Europe

In summary, the individual is looking for a Masters program in theoretical physics after completing their Physics Bachelor degree with good grades. They are specifically interested in Condensed Matter Physics and are considering various universities, including LMU Munich, TUM Munich, Utrecht University, ETH Zurich, and ENS Paris. They are also open to other suggestions and are interested in hearing about the experiences of others with these programs. They have also received advice about the importance of understanding experimental methods and collaborating with experimentalists in their theoretical work. They are also considering the University of Dresden and are interested in hearing about the experiences of others with the masters programs listed above, as well as the University of Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics.
  • #1
Smalde
21
1
Dear All,

I am sorry if you consider this question to be repetitive or too general but I have been unable to find sufficient answers on the web and thus I want to see what I can win from asking you guys.

First my situation:

I finished my Physics' Bachelor in the LMU Munich with good grades, especially in the so-called theoretical courses. Now I am looking for a Masters in Physics for intake after this summer 2018 (i.e. September - October depending on the University). I am interested in theoretical physics and would like to avoid to the extent that it might be possible any experimental courses. Also, I did my Bachelor thesis in Condensed Matter Physics (Topological Insulators to be more precise) and I seem to like this area, so I am also considering focussing on Condensed Matter Physics. However, as any kid of my age, I am still very unsure as to where to actually head to (which area of physics, industry vs. academics, etc.) and would like a general theoretical physics 2-years program.

I have been doing some research on the web and in the moment I was considering applying to the following universities:

- LMU Munich + TUM Munich: Theoretical and Mathematical Physics TMP
- Utrecht University: Theoretical Physics Master
- ETH Zurich: (General) Physics Master
- ENS Paris: (General) Physics Master [-> Living in Paris makes this one very appealing, however, I am unsure about the actual program!]

Also I was considering to also apply to
- TUM Munich: Condensed Matter Physics Master
Since it is specific about Condensed Matter Physics.

So, my question is quite general: What can you guys tell me about these programs? Am I forgetting any other programs that might be interesting? Any information that you can provide me about any of these masters, or anything related would be very appreciated!
Pol
 
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  • #2
Smalde said:
I am interested in theoretical physics and would like to avoid to the extent that it might be possible any experimental courses.

Far from being an experimentalist, the older I get, the less I think this is the right attitude.
If you are good at theory, theory is the easy part. You can get it from any book or article you like. What university can offer you is to see why and how experimentalists are doing certain experiments and where the limitations come from. As a theoretician, you will most probably cooperate with experimentalists and trying to explain their observations and try to propose new experiments. For a master, it would be best to make as many "praktikums" in different groups as possible.
 
  • #3
I do condensed matter in Dresden and the community is very large, which is really good because then you have more topics, more people, more talks. I agree with DrDu. You need the experimentalists as much as they need you. If you disregard them, they will discard your work because important aspects of real systems are not considered. They will also not be very supportive if you want your theory validified. Many theoreticians develop programs for experimental data analysis, which gives them close collaboration with the small set of experimentalists that they need and also a lot of citations. Send me a pm in German if you have more detailed questions.
 
  • #4
Thank you very much for your responses. I had certainly not thought about it that way. I guess if one does not know in detail about experimental methods it might be very difficult for one to discuss the way theory becomes experiment.
I will also look at the University in Dresden. :)

Still, does anyone know about the masters I listed above? Good things or bad things one has heard?

Thank you very much!
 
  • #5
Hi, Smalde!

So, for which master program did you go for? Are you happy with your choice?

Regards,
Popov
 
  • #6
The University of Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Postdam/Hannover) are top places you are currently not considering.
 

1. What universities offer the best theoretical physics masters degree in continental Europe?

There are several top universities in continental Europe that offer excellent theoretical physics masters programs, including ETH Zurich, University of Cambridge, Sorbonne University, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, and Technical University of Munich.

2. What are the requirements for admission to a theoretical physics masters program in continental Europe?

The specific requirements may vary slightly between universities, but in general, applicants must have a strong background in physics and mathematics, a bachelor's degree in a related field, and a high GPA. Some universities may also require standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

3. How long does it take to complete a theoretical physics masters degree in continental Europe?

The length of the program will depend on the specific university and the student's course load, but typically a theoretical physics masters program in continental Europe takes 1-2 years to complete. Some programs may offer the option to complete a thesis, which could add an additional year to the program.

4. Are there opportunities for international students to receive financial aid for a theoretical physics masters program in continental Europe?

Yes, many universities in continental Europe offer scholarships and financial aid for international students. Some may also offer teaching or research assistantships to help cover the cost of tuition. It is important for students to research and apply for these opportunities early on in the application process.

5. Can I pursue a PhD in theoretical physics after completing a masters degree in continental Europe?

Yes, many students continue on to pursue a PhD in theoretical physics after completing a masters degree in continental Europe. In fact, some universities offer combined masters and PhD programs for students interested in pursuing a career in research. It is important to research the specific program and university to determine if it aligns with your academic and career goals.

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