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Current physics PhD students & postdocs: area of research

  1. condensed matter physics -- theoretical

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. condensed matter physics -- experimental

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. particle physics -- theoretical

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. particle physics -- experimental

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. astrophysics

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. atmospheric physics

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. atomic, molecular and optical physics

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. geophysics

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. nonlinear physics

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  10. biological physics

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. medical physics

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. chemical physics

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. nuclear/accelerator physics

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  14. Other physics research areas

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. May 9, 2016 #1

    StatGuy2000

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    Hi everyone! I wanted to pose this question to those who PF members who are current PhD students or postdocs in physics. What area of physics research are you involved with?

    I tried to list out all areas of physics research that I'm familiar with, but I also created an "Other" category for any research category I had inadvertently left out.

    Appreciate your feedback!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2016 #2

    George Jones

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    No separate category for general relativity? No separate category for cosmology?!

    From the preface to Weinberg's 2008, authoritative book, Cosmology:

     
  4. May 9, 2016 #3

    StatGuy2000

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    Doh! I knew I was going to miss some physics research field! :H

    Since I can't edit my poll, for the moment, I would put cosmology under "astrophysics" (so read that category as astrophysics & cosmology).

    As for general relativity -- do physicists study general relativity on its own, or as part of broader research in cosmology, astrophysics, etc.? In this case, I would suggest putting this under "Other".
     
  5. May 9, 2016 #4

    ZapperZ

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    I find it highly odd that Nuclear physics is lumped together with Accelerator physics. I can begrudgingly understand if Accelerator physics is lumped with HEP, since that has been the common misconception, but nuclear physics?

    Zz.
     
  6. May 9, 2016 #5

    StatGuy2000

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    ZapperZ, I am not a physicist, and certain areas of research like accelerator physics are unfamiliar with me. I had relied on the research fields listed in the University of Toronto (my alma mater) physics department website (www.physics.utoronto.ca) as a general guide to what to put down, along with research fields mentioned by PF members.

    I was always aware that there may be research fields that I would miss. Again, unfortunately there is no way to modify a poll once it's posted. So short of deleting this thread, I'm not sure what else I can do.
     
  7. May 9, 2016 #6

    ZapperZ

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    So at U. of Toronto, Nuclear Physics is in the same "group" as Accelerator Physics? I find that very hard to believe.

    Zz.
     
  8. May 9, 2016 #7
    When I start I will be researching nonlinear dynamics and variational estimation methods.
     
  9. May 10, 2016 #8

    StatGuy2000

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    ZapperZ, as far as I'm aware of, I'm not familiar with whether at U of T has an Accelerator Physics group (they may -- I'm just not certain of this). I know that McMaster University (another university located in southern Ontario, in the nearby city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) does have an accelerator available for its students, and (I think) that falls under the Nuclear Physics research group there (but again, I'm not certain about that either).

    U of T physics students, postdocs, or faculty, please step in here to correct me.
     
  10. May 10, 2016 #9

    ZapperZ

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    I've looked. UoT doesn't have a formal program in accelerator physics. They also do not have a formal program in "nuclear physics".

    https://www.physics.utoronto.ca/research

    So, if you claim that you based those categories on your alma mater (see post #5), then I don't know how you are able to lumped them together considering that those programs are not glaringly present at UoT.

    McMasters also shows no obvious categories that showed major research area in Nuclear Physics and Accelerator physics. But I know they have an accelerator, and I've interacted with a few physicists from McMasters at various accelerator conferences and workshops. Still, if you look at their accelerator facility page https://www.science.mcmaster.ca/~accelerator/index.html , you'd be tempted to link their accelerator science projects under nuclear medicine/medical physics, not nuclear physics!

    I know it is too late to change things in your poll. I am continually trying to dispel the myths associated with accelerator science, especially the automatic response that accelerator physics=high energy physics. Now I find it disheartening that I have to fight on another battlefront of trying to make people not confuse accelerator physics with nuclear physics.

    I wish someone working for, say, Varian, would come on here and claim accelerators for the medical profession! After all, they make WAY MORE accelerators for medical application than there are HEP and Nuclear physics accelerators COMBINED!

    Zz.
     
  11. May 10, 2016 #10

    StatGuy2000

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    You raise fair points. Now you are correct that U of T does not have a formal program in nuclear physics or in accelerator physics, but there might be researchers who are actively involved in these areas. The formal research groups in the physics department at U of T (as listed on their website) are as follows:

    atmospheric physics
    biological physics
    condensed matter physics
    earth, atmospheric, and planetary physics
    experimental particle physics
    geophysics
    physics education
    quantum optics
    theoretical high energy physics

    These are just the formal groups. I know of one professor who does research in nonlinear physics/dynamical systems, which doesn't neatly fall into any of the above categories. I suppose astrophysics & cosmology could fall under "earth, atmospheric, and planetary physics".
     
  12. May 10, 2016 #11

    ZapperZ

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    You are missing my point. I'm trying to understand where you got the idea that you can lump nuclear physics with accelerator physics. Your "source" does not show this.

    I can fully understand if someone looks at, say, JLab's website and made that connection. But from UoT physics page? I don't see it.

    Zz.
     
  13. May 10, 2016 #12

    StatGuy2000

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    Lumping accelerator physics and nuclear physics didn't come directly from the U of T physics page -- it was based on my own understanding of accelerator and nuclear physics (and from what I recall seeing on McMaster's accelerator program -- which mentioned nuclear medicine).

    Look, I admit that is a mistake, and frankly, the polls cannot be edited, so I see it as pointless to try to argue about this.
     
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