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How to Find Most Current Physics Models

  1. Jul 28, 2014 #1
    Hi Everyone,

    So I think this is a bit of a loaded question, but how do professional physicists find/learn the most recent models? I have been trying to find the correct search terms on web of science for the past few days, but so far I have only found papers dealing with experimental or simulation results.

    Just as a side note, Im going to be a Sr physics major in the fall, and I think not having this ability is a rather major gap in my skillset.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2014 #2


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    The most recent models in what? Some fields of study in physics are very well established, and "the most recent models" will be actually quite old, while some fields of study are advancing quite rapidly. What fields are you looking for?

    Of course, you start with learning physics from textbooks and lectures and the like to learn the general and broad topics, and then one usually progresses into a narrow field where reading research papers or review letters are necessary to know the state of the art in that field.
  4. Jul 29, 2014 #3
    I'm particularly interested in heat flow, phonons, things of that nature, I've already looked into the Debye Model and Einstein Model in Stat Mech. and Intro Solid State( side note, friends dont let friends read the more recent editions of Kittel). I ideally want to find the first papers that had a mature Density Functional Theory, and work back on the theories they are based off.

    More important to me however, is the actual process. If I wanted to learn about current theories that are competing in any given sub-field of physics how would I go on web of science and search for it?
  5. Jul 31, 2014 #4


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    You can try starting with arxiv.org they have a pretty large list of publications, but be careful because they are not peer reviewed. What you can do is find the article on there, and try to see if it's been submitted to a peer reviewed journal, and whether it passed referee or not.
  6. Jul 31, 2014 #5
    I guess I'm really most looking for search terms I've realized. Also, as I've said I have access to Web of Science http://wokinfo.com/. If I do some search terms like "Solid State" & "Theory" I get experimental results or simulation studies. I cannot find the reviews that bundle up a series of equations, derived or empirical, into a coherent "theory" like the Debye or Einstein theories of solids.

    Also, I do really appreciate the help.

    One last thing, I know arXiv is free, but it's sorting options are not so good. I can't tell what method it's using, but it's the only one available.
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