Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Designing a research topic

  1. May 30, 2006 #1
    Hey. I've been given the opportunity to perform a physics experiment this summer, and I have free range over what type of experiment I choose to perform. I'm sure most physics majors wouldnt have a problem designing a project, but I am finding the task really difficult. So far I've only taken lower level physics classes (all the classes leading up to QM). I don't want just do any of the classic experiments that i'll eventually do in upper level labs. I would like to do something that is somewhat similar to what undergraduates do as interns at national labs, seeing as how this is my goal for next summer. I looked at some intership sites' research abstracts and would like to something somewhat equivalent. How do they come up with these abstracts?

    Any help in how to come up with an elaborate, summer-long project would be greatly appreciated. Right now I think that I'm most interested in plasma physics, although as lower classman I have had little to no exposure to the variety of physics sub fields. I'd like to do something that pertains to plasma physics, and I'm willing to put in the work, get a good text, and try to learn enough to do something with it. I can't imagine, however, that summer interns at large labs have that much more backround than me, so perhaps there is a better way to go about it?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2006 #2
    Is this through your university? If that is the case, go and talk to some physics faculty about what would be a good experiment. Tell them exactly what you have told us.

    You will need to use equipment that is already there most likely, so getting to know the researchers who use it would be useful. Also talk to grad students at your school and see if they can think of anything.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook