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Difficulties in choosing a research area

  1. Aug 2, 2013 #1
    Hello people, i'm new here, but i already read some topics with this similar question. I'm just about to finish my master degree in theoretical physics (more specifically in qft) and besides i have really enjoyable moments studying it... I feel that something isn't right. It's a hard area, plenty of frustrating moments... I keep thinking that when we're young it's easier to choose a area like this because we are motivated by our own excitement, but when time passes things tends to change. I've been noticing this since i've finished the undergrad. So i'm almost convinced that i should change to another area in PhD, maybe i could experience something that i may be happier about. Although, i like being theoretical, i can't imagine me (until now) doing experimental work. I once thought in changing to Statistical physics 'cause i did appreciate the classes i took during the first year of grad studies. But now... thinking about changing a world of possibilities arise and i'm pretty confused. And as older you get, money becomes a strong priority in thinking. I'd like some advice about these questions... if it's possible. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2013 #2
    Incidently, I switched from HEP Theory to Statistical Physics after my Masters and had a great PhD time, both in terms of liking my everyday-work and the resulting successes. So from my experience I can strongly recommend moving to a field in which you enjoy everyday-work. The choice for (computational) Statistical Physics, in my case, fell only after the job interview, btw.: After the interview I went home and played around with simulations of a paper we discussed and had a lot of fun playing around with it. So maybe you can just look around for open positions a bit and try to get detail information.

    Personally, if I was to chose a field for a PhD today I would probably go into econophysics. What sounds like boring economy at first has very interesting fun and highly experimental/innovative projects in fields like swarming (e.g. how many individuals with controlled movement do I need to control an otherwise randomly-moving crowd of people?) and analysis of (social) Internet structures (e.g. developing a forecast for the success of cinema movies based on the automatic analysis of threads in movie forums).
  4. Aug 3, 2013 #3
    Thanks for answering, Timo. I think i may have found the answer to my question. I enjoy doing theoretical physics, but sometimes in life we must be more realistic :/ The idea of doing applied physics is growing in my head, so perhaps it is the right for me. :)
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