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Experimental VS theoretical work

  1. Jul 13, 2009 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I am comtemplating the PhD which I would like to embark on late 2010.

    I am having difficulty deciding whether I should take an experimental or theoretical path. Of course I have been speaking to as many relevant people as I can, and reading lots of information.

    Just wondered if anyone might like to post their "pros" and "cons" of experimental and theoretical work. Even just the little things.

    Thanks in advance of any replies posted!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2009 #2


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    I always thought this was decided at birth !
    There are those that believe some traumatic incident in childhood can change a person's development but I think experimental vs theoretical is built in.
  4. Jul 13, 2009 #3


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    It might help for people giving you advice if you narrowed down the field a little bit. Are you talking about condensed matter physics? Astrophysics? Medical physics? And if you haven't decided on this yet, then perhaps you should spend your time investigating the different subfields to get an idea of what problems you're interested in working on.
  5. Jul 13, 2009 #4
    Hi. I am definitely more interested in theoretical physics, but am worried that I might not be "up to it"!

    So I was just trying to find out the pros and cons to help me decide.

    I am interested in both Cosmology and Particle Physics.
  6. Jul 13, 2009 #5


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    It's probably easier to switch from experimental to theoretical work than the other way around (assuming you have little research experience in the area you're switching into).
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