Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy?

In summary: I admire your dedication, I really do, but I still advise you not to concentrate on one or two specific fields. It's great that you have a passion for physics, but don't limit yourself to just one area. Keep an open mind and explore different fields within physics. Who knows, you may discover a new interest that you never knew you had. In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of obtaining a double degree Ph.D in both physics and nanotechnology, and the potential challenges and benefits of this pursuit. The participants also share their personal experiences and opinions on multiple Ph.Ds and the importance of keeping an open mind in exploring different fields within physics.
  • #1
thinkies
249
0
Is it even possible? (A double degree Ph.D in both fields)

Both of them are pretty much related to physics...so I think it would be possible. Is there any other field, particularly in physics, that is better then nanotechnology with astronomy.

I know that there are extensive research in nanotechnology stuff(and its quit an interesting field), so it seems like a good field. And astronomy is really a passion for me, so there's no doubt that I will be taking something aside that. But I have also some interest in other fields in physics, hence the reason why I would like to know if a double degree(preferably Ph.D) is possible.

Also, it seems like a double degree is referred to a student working for two different university degrees in parallel, either at the same institution or at different institutions..That would mean that you *wont* be doing 30 years in university (15 years at least for 1 Ph.D.. multiply by 2 ^.^ )? Of course hard work is expected for this, right?

What are your thoughts?

And,um, what do you think of the following fields, *which one* seems to be actively researched (or *which ones*)?

- Plasma physics
- Optics
- Optoelectronics
- Materials physics
- Geophysics
- Communication physics

Anything else you might want to add to the list?
 
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  • #2
I don't really see the point in obtaining two PhDs (how can one be an expert in more than one thing?) You will definitely not be able to do two PhDs simultaneously... one is hard enough!

Anyway, I recall from the other threads that you are only young, so I would stop trying to think about all this now-- your interests will definitely change once you get through school and university!
 
  • #3
cristo said:
I don't really see the point in obtaining two PhDs (how can one be an expert in more than one thing?) You will definitely not be able to do two PhDs simultaneously... one is hard enough!

Anyway, I recall from the other threads that you are only young, so I would stop trying to think about all this now-- your interests will definitely change once you get through school and university!

To be quit honest, I'm just trying to show my parents that there's more then A MD degree...They are so badly expecting me to be a doctor, and there's no hell way I can change my passion into my biology despite the amazing results I get from my exams...I just love physics..

Also, I'm asking just out of curiosity...
 
  • #4
Ph.d is not much necessary in both fields. How about a simple master degree in 1 field? (However, I would personally prefer to pursue Ph.D in astronomy)...

BTW, I don't really think my interest will change...I just can't see anything beside physics. I read numerous articles regarding many stuff (discoveries,research) and they all amaze me(they mostly are related with physics)... :)
 
  • #5
thinkies,

It's funny you mention this, because I'm thinking about doing 2 PhD's starting next year. I've been researching supersymmetric quantum mechanics, and I would like to upgrade to supersymmetric quantum field theories. I plan on applying to the PhD program in Physics at one school, and in Applied Mathematics at another. If I get into both programs with funding (and I don't see why I wouldn't, my grades are good) then I am going to quit my job and throw myself into this.

However, that said, I must say that the only reason this is going to work (I think) is that I believe I can extract two dissertations out of the same research program. My plan is to submit the mathematical results to the math dept, and the scientific results to the physics dept. With your choice of PhD programs, it won't be anything like that. Astronomy is too far from Nanotech for you to be able to give both programs your best shot.

I don't see why you couldn't do them both eventually, but I think it will be impossible for you to do them both together. You'll burn out on both of them, and end up with no PhD at all.
 
  • #6
Tom Mattson said:
thinkies,

It's funny you mention this, because I'm thinking about doing 2 PhD's starting next year. I've been researching supersymmetric quantum mechanics, and I would like to upgrade to supersymmetric quantum field theories. I plan on applying to the PhD program in Physics at one school, and in Applied Mathematics at another. If I get into both programs with funding (and I don't see why I wouldn't, my grades are good) then I am going to quit my job and throw myself into this.

However, that said, I must say that the only reason this is going to work (I think) is that I believe I can extract two dissertations out of the same research program. My plan is to submit the mathematical results to the math dept, and the scientific results to the physics dept. With your choice of PhD programs, it won't be anything like that. Astronomy is too far from Nanotech for you to be able to give both programs your best shot.

I don't see why you couldn't do them both eventually, but I think it will be impossible for you to do them both together. You'll burn out on both of them, and end up with no PhD at all.

So what would be suitable with astronomy, other then nanotechnology...?
Gosh, finally someone who is expecting 2 Ph.d's, I thought I was the only mental freak looking forward for 2 Ph.D. degrees... :)
 
  • #7
Also, hard work really isn't a problem, I am a very hard working guy and I usually manage to understand things pretty smoothly and quickly (I also manage to retain them in my head)...
 
  • #8
thinkies said:
BTW, I don't really think my interest will change...I just can't see anything beside physics. I read numerous articles regarding many stuff (discoveries,research) and they all amaze me(they mostly are related with physics)... :)
I admire your dedication, I really do, but I still advise you not to concentrate on one or two specific fields. Yes, there are lots and lots of interesting fields out there, but the reality is that you cannot possible study everything to PhD level; some time you have to make a decision. But, for now, I think you should enjoy the classes you're taking. There is no need to even tell your parents, if you think they are so against it, until you are further on through high school.
Tom Mattson said:
thinkies,

It's funny you mention this, because I'm thinking about doing 2 PhD's starting next year. I've been researching supersymmetric quantum mechanics, and I would like to upgrade to supersymmetric quantum field theories. I plan on applying to the PhD program in Physics at one school, and in Applied Mathematics at another. If I get into both programs with funding (and I don't see why I wouldn't, my grades are good) then I am going to quit my job and throw myself into this.

Wow, best of luck to you, Tom! I couldn't imagine writing two theses simultaneously, however: that's going to be pretty difficult!
 
  • #9
@ Cristo

Ok, I'll take into consideration what you said. Thanks for the advice. But just out of curiosity, what are the fields (in physics)in which research is quit active...

Do you know any field that may emerge in the near future as a competent research field (related with physics of course)?
 
  • #10
thinkies said:
So what would be suitable with astronomy, other then nanotechnology...?

It's really impossible to say unless you've already picked out an area of astronomy. For instance, if you're interested in the chemistry of the Venetian atmosphere, then you might be able to do Astro and Chem. If you were interested in Origins of Life, then you might be able to do Astro and Bio, or even Astro and Chem. If you were interested in stellar physics, then you could do Astro and Physics.

Also, hard work really isn't a problem, I am a very hard working guy and I usually manage to understand things pretty smoothly and quickly (I also manage to retain them in my head)...

It doesn't matter. When you do a PhD, it's not like taking a bunch of advanced courses in which you pass by mastering the material (there is some of that in the first 2 years or so, but that's about it). What you'll be doing is working on a problem that has never been solved before. It will be extremely time consuming, and you will be expected to produce something every week, if not every day.
 
  • #11
@Tom Mattson

Wow, that's quit scary: "you'll be doing is working on a problem that has never been solved before"...That would mean new concepts everyweek...so possibly I won't much find any help elsewhere or in any other books...just my pure brain? Are you truly going to be applying for 2 Ph.D's? That seems very scary..still, hard work and dedication always overcome such obstacle (unless if it is something insane...)

Hmm any thoughts regarding my post #9?
 
  • #12
thinkies said:
@ Cristo

Ok, I'll take into consideration what you said. Thanks for the advice. But just out of curiosity, what are the fields (in physics)in which research is quit active...

Do you know any field that may emerge in the near future as a competent research field (related with physics of course)?

Well, nanotechnology is a pretty new field, but it's pretty impossible to answer your question. There are many research fields out there. Why not google for the physics department of some universities and look at the research interests of the faculty there?
 
  • #13
Well, many universities are conducting research in fields such as Cosmology,Biological Physics,Nuclear Physics,Condensed matter,etc

Seems like almost every single field in physics is being actively researched o.0...Although it seems there's not much of a research in astronomy, except in some western countries, for stuff regarding astronomy..it's not quit 'global'...
 
  • #14
thinkies said:
Seems like almost every single field in physics is being actively researched o.0...Although it seems there's not much of a research in astronomy, except in some western countries, for stuff regarding astronomy..it's not quit 'global'...

Pretty much by necessity, astronomy is one of the most global scientific endeavors, with telescopes all around the world (probably in every country). If astronomy only existed in the West, only half the sky would be observed by ground-based telescopes, and astronomical events during the daylight in the West would be missed. Astronomy is an ancient profession and is quite universal (pardon the pun).
 
  • #15
Parents situation

thinkies said:
To be quit honest, I'm just trying to show my parents that there's more then A MD degree...They are so badly expecting me to be a doctor, and there's no hell way I can change my passion into my biology despite the amazing results I get from my exams...I just love physics..

Also, I'm asking just out of curiosity...

Sounds like my parent and my relatives wantign me to become a doctor. It's hard for them to respect and be satisfied that u got a Phd instead of an MD. When i told em i wanted to be a physicist, they said this and that, and soon enough they just really didn't care. Sure they're disappointed, and sure they want me to become a millionaire, but they can't do anything bout it!

Go for what u love. You'll eventually get to the point where ucan't study somethign to satisfy other ppl. Theres nothign u can say or do to prove to them the PhD degree is just as worthwhile and satisfying than an MD.


Btw, are ur parents asian? lol
 
  • #16
I agree with Cristo, your too young to be worrying about these things
 
  • #17
cristo said:
Wow, best of luck to you, Tom!

Thank you. :smile:

I couldn't imagine writing two theses simultaneously, however: that's going to be pretty difficult!

A year and a half ago, I couldn't imagine it either. I got my MS in Physics in 1997, and I started an MS in Mathematics in 2006 (I'll finish this December). In the Spring of 2007 I did an independent study with a physicist who works in supersymmetric quantum mechanics. My plan was to finish the MS in Math, then go either to the Applied Math Dept at RPI, or the Physics Dept at SUNY Albany for a PhD. But then the more I got into the research, the more I saw that there were problems in both physics and applied mathematics in this project. So that's when I hatched my crazy scheme: Why not do both?

I'm still preparing by taking a lot of mathematics. But the more I look into it, the more I believe I can do it. But like I said, this can only work because the two dissertations are going to come from the same reserach project. If they were as disparate as astronomy and nanotech, it would never work.
 
  • #18
I'm starting my Master's in September and even I am not thinking about it!
 
  • #19
JasonRox said:
I'm starting my Master's in September and even I am not thinking about it!

Since you are starting your master's degree...You must have some particular field in which you will be doing your degree..?? I can't see how you got to master's without having at least 1 particular field in the head, right?
 
  • #20
Tom Mattson said:
A year and a half ago, I couldn't imagine it either. I got my MS in Physics in 1997, and I started an MS in Mathematics in 2006 (I'll finish this December). In the Spring of 2007 I did an independent study with a physicist who works in supersymmetric quantum mechanics. My plan was to finish the MS in Math, then go either to the Applied Math Dept at RPI, or the Physics Dept at SUNY Albany for a PhD. But then the more I got into the research, the more I saw that there were problems in both physics and applied mathematics in this project. So that's when I hatched my crazy scheme: Why not do both?
Well, that doesn't sound so crazy any more-- if you can see a natural relationship between the two potential theses then it bodes well.

You say that you intend to apply for funding for both-- the fact that you'll be sharing your time between the two may affect whether or not you'll get the funding more than your grades. Do you intend telling each department about the other, and about your simultaneous PhD plan?
 
  • #21
cristo said:
Do you intend telling each department about the other, and about your simultaneous PhD plan?

Everywhere I've seen, it's pretty much mandatory that if you want to do something like this that you get a detailed plan worked out and approved...

Can't hurt to apply for funding from multiple sources and pick the one that pays best in the event more than one says yes. o:)
 
  • #22
Tom,
I'd be very surprised if any department allowed you to do what you're proposing. Have you checked? Even if it is possible, I don't see any point beyond bragging rights. A single Ph.D. program already allows you all the academic freedom you could want.
 
  • #23
Lots of places do, although it's more on the college level that rules governing it would exist.

But I don't really see the point either.
 
  • #24
Stingray said:
Tom,
I'd be very surprised if any department allowed you to do what you're proposing. Have you checked? Even if it is possible, I don't see any point beyond bragging rights. A single Ph.D. program already allows you all the academic freedom you could want.

I agree...and just do a post-doc in the other related field if you don't think you can pick it up on your own after the first Ph.D. One degree in one field is already a full time commitment. If you are fully funded, you may not even be permitted to have another job, because they expect you will eat, breathe, and live your dissertation work.

Tom, I'm not sure you'd be allowed to use the same research for two dissertations. I think most schools would expect that all the work you did for a research project should go into a single dissertation. You can cross disciplines and have co-advisors, but it's expected you'll produce one dissertation. You better check on what the rules are before you get your hopes up.

As to the OP, if you're as young as others have alluded, give yourself time before figuring out what you want to do. I'm crushed you'd never consider biology :cry:...but also fully understand that an M.D. is NOT for everyone. On the other hand, what's new and exciting and a great topic for a Ph.D. now may be old hat by the time you get that far. Topics for studying for a Ph.D. are best decided upon later, when you're getting closer to finishing your undergraduate degree.

If you're still in high school, don't even worry about what your parents think you're going to do. Your high school courses to get into college will be the same whether you go into biology or physics, and once you're in college, you can tell your parents for a while that you've heard physics majors are really attractive to med schools (it's not really a lie, you can get into med school with a physics major). And by the time you figure out what you really want to do, you'll be more independent and have your arguments all lined up, and it won't matter what they think anyway.
 
  • #25
stingray said:
Tom,
I'd be very surprised if any department allowed you to do what you're proposing.

Me too!

Have you checked?

Here's what I know: There is at least one professor in each department who is interested in what I'm doing and willing to take me on as a student (I've spoken with a few). They all know that I am applying to more than one school. I have not revealed my double-duty plan to any of them, but of course I will after being accepted by each department (assuming that happens, of course).

Now, I'm going to test the waters this year as I work on my Master's thesis in Mathematics. I am going to study the mathematics of SUSY QM. If I can in parallel with that generate enough scientific predictions from the theory, then I am going to try to publish the mathematical findings in a math journal, and the scientific findings in a physics journal. If I can do that, then it will be the basis for my case when I present it to the two departments.

The worst they can do is say no to my plan. So if I believe I can do it, and can show some tangible results, then I've got nothing to lose by asking and a lot to lose by not asking.

Even if it is possible, I don't see any point beyond bragging rights. A single Ph.D. program already allows you all the academic freedom you could want.

No, I want more freedom than that. :biggrin: Upon completion of my research I would like to maximize my chances of employment doing the research that I want to do. With both degrees I would be eligible to apply to physics departments and to applied mathematics departments for employment.

Moonbear said:
I agree...and just do a post-doc in the other related field if you don't think you can pick it up on your own after the first Ph.D. One degree in one field is already a full time commitment. If you are fully funded, you may not even be permitted to have another job, because they expect you will eat, breathe, and live your dissertation work.

Currently I work at a community college, and there are several of us here (some full time, some part time) who are also fully funded PhD students at one of the two local universities. This is all out in the open and accepted. What I am proposing is that instead of doing a single PhD and keeping my community college job (which any advisor around here would be perfectly OK with), I would quit my job and live on the double stipend, and invest all of my time into this work. I could actually get it done faster if I didn't have to deal with teaching at the community college.

Tom, I'm not sure you'd be allowed to use the same research for two dissertations. I think most schools would expect that all the work you did for a research project should go into a single dissertation. You can cross disciplines and have co-advisors, but it's expected you'll produce one dissertation. You better check on what the rules are before you get your hopes up.

We shall see. As I said above, I am going to try to work both ends of this project this year. If I can produce at least one article that is distinctly mathematical, and at least one that is distinctly scientific, then I will use that as the basis for my case when I present it to the two departments. My hopes won't be up until I've jumped over that hurdle anyway, so no need to be concerned about that just yet. :smile:
 
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  • #26
So Tom, that kinda explains why you currently don't have a life.

:)

Zz.
 
  • #27
Kinda?

No Zz, it completely explains it. :smile:
 
  • #28
Tom Mattson said:
We shall see. As I said above, I am going to try to work both ends of this project this year. If I can produce at least one article that is distinctly mathematical, and at least one that is distinctly scientific, then I will use that as the basis for my case when I present it to the two departments. My hopes won't be up until I've jumped over that hurdle anyway, so no need to be concerned about that just yet. :smile:

I can't speak for the programs to which you're applying, but in my field, that would be considered a basis for having co-advisors and evidence you could handle a cross-disciplinary project, not a basis for getting two degrees. Not sure about double-dipping on stipends either. What happens if your two advisors disagree about the direction your project should take? Afterall, dissertation projects don't always follow the expected plan once you actually start doing them and find out something doesn't work as expected.
 
  • #29
Tom Mattson said:
No, I want more freedom than that. :biggrin: Upon completion of my research I would like to maximize my chances of employment doing the research that I want to do. With both degrees I would be eligible to apply to physics departments and to applied mathematics departments for employment.

I rather suspect that the App Math people will be more concerned with your published research than the label on your degree. Or again, postdoc experience to make up any deficiencies.

Most of the profs employed by our applied mathematics have degrees in...applied mathematics. But they've got Evolutionary Biology, Computer Science, Biophysics, and so forth. Just to name a few from the ones with easily accessible CVs. Once you've got the Dr. in front of your name, people tend to be much more concerned with what you know than how you came to know it (government secrets aside...).Oh - and getting a life does wonders for your sanity and odds of actually completing one Ph.D., let alone two.
 
  • #30
I think it's very unlikely that Tom Mattson's plan will work.

One reason is that many universities will simply not give a PhD to someone who has already earned one. A PhD is a doctor of philosophy - in many (most?) universities it's not "in" anything. It's awarded by the university on the recommendation of a department. Multiple departments can recommend a candidate, but the university just gives the single degree.

While one needs an "original contribution to human knowledge" to get a PhD, you don't get another one with every new contribution. If that were the case, many of us would have closets full of them. It doesn't matter if subsequent contributions were in the same or different areas of specialization.

I also doubt this "double stipend" will work. (They don't charge you double tuition, do they?) Since doing so means the departments in question will have to forgo one other grad student, even if the university were okay with this (and I doubt this), I would expect the departments would be opposed to it.

Finally, I think you are overly concerned with what it says on your degree. Potential employers are much more interested in what you've accomplished as a postdoc.
 
  • #31
Vanadium 50 said:
I also doubt this "double stipend" will work. (They don't charge you double tuition, do they?)

The two departments are in two different universities which are near each other.

To all: Thanks for your concern, and you're most likely right about it not getting approved, but I'm going to try it anyway. Like I said, the worst they can do is say no.
 
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  • #32
thinkies said:
Since you are starting your master's degree...You must have some particular field in which you will be doing your degree..?? I can't see how you got to master's without having at least 1 particular field in the head, right?

Not necessarily.

I'm going into Number Theory (primarily using algebra). I will do my work in that area, but I can also do courses in other areas of mathematics and do my Ph.D in something different.
 
  • #33
RasslinGod said:
Btw, are ur parents asian? lol

LMAO, yes,I am from an asian family...
 

Related to Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy?

1. What is a Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy?

A Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy is a doctoral program that combines the study of nanotechnology and astronomy. This program allows students to gain expertise in both fields and conduct research that integrates both disciplines.

2. What are the benefits of pursuing a Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy?

There are several benefits to pursuing a Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy. Firstly, it allows students to gain a comprehensive understanding of two distinct but complementary fields. This can lead to a wider range of career opportunities in both academia and industry. Additionally, the combination of these two fields can lead to innovative research and advancements in technology and space exploration.

3. What are the admission requirements for a Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy?

The admission requirements may vary depending on the university, but generally, applicants are required to have a bachelor's and master's degree in a related field such as physics, chemistry, engineering, or astronomy. They may also be required to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Some universities may also require applicants to take the GRE or other standardized tests.

4. What career opportunities are available for graduates with a Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy?

Graduates with a Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy have a wide range of career opportunities. They can pursue careers in academic research, working as professors or researchers at universities or research institutions. They can also work in industries such as aerospace, nanotechnology, and materials science. Additionally, graduates can also work in government agencies or organizations related to space exploration and technology development.

5. How long does it take to complete a Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy?

The duration of a Double Degree Ph.D in Nanothechnology and Astronomy may vary depending on the university and the student's research progress. On average, it can take 4-6 years to complete the program. However, some universities may offer accelerated programs that can be completed in a shorter period of time.

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