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Courses Is particle physics that important?

  1. Sep 16, 2018 #1

    I will start my third year on the theoretical physics program. I have taken an introduction course in particle physics, just the basics, not much math. (quark and Feynman diagrams the forces and interaction , CRM matrix and cabibbo angle etc. )

    Now I'm choosing between relativistic electromagnetism (which seems like a great course) and particle physics.

    I want to do general relativity, quantum gravity and string theory in my master. I really think that particle physics is extremely boring, I simply don't click with the standardmodell and the formalism, its nothing for me.

    But I know that quantum gravity models is a lot of particle physics on higher energies. So am I stupid not to get good at particle physics and take the advanced course? Or can I be sloppy about, course-wise, until I need it?

    Can someone give me some advice here based on their experience?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2018 #2
    I assume that relativistic electromagnetism means a course on electromagnetism using the covariant formulation. If so, then that is an important course and a good lead in to general relativity. What does this "particle physics" course actually entail? Is it really a course on quantum field theory? It would probably be helpful to know what the textbooks are for these courses.
  4. Sep 16, 2018 #3
    Want to learn string theory without knowing particle physics!

    If particle physics is boring (I find it boring sometimes too), string theory is 10× more boring than that ^^" << No offense

    For me, general relativity is way more exciting because I understand its concepts to a certain extent, I find particle physics boring because I understand nearly nothing. Maybe you are just not prepared for it and you need more understanding of the basic rules of physics.
  5. Sep 16, 2018 #4

    I don't think the concept is boring, more the formalism. But my question really is. In QFT, we come to particlephysics and the standard model by understand relativistic wave equations for spin 0, 1/2 and 1 fields. But do I still need "ordinary" particle physics or can I more or less leave that out?

    I get the feeling that its like newtonian dynamics and Lagrangian dynamics. There's no reason for a theoretical physicist to lay much focus on newtonian dynamics, since lagrangian dynamics arrives at the same results, but are more useful.
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