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Other Lattice QCD vs QED

  1. Mar 13, 2016 #1
    I have the opportunity to pursue a research project in either lattice QCD or QED.

    In the case of QED, I'd be writing the code myself, will be able to understand the whole thing, et cetera. There shouldn't be any mystery in this. It almost seems like a long exercise, and there isn't anything I'd do that hasn't been done in detail before.

    In the case of QCD, I'd be using code from my adviser's collaboration. Given the size of the code, I wouldn't be able to understand the whole thing and would likely be working with a black box for a majority of the time. However, this would give me a chance to work on something that more closely approximates "real research".

    In each case, I'd be working on studying some sort of phase transition in one of the theories. My question is regarding which would be best in terms of research experience. I know that in the "real world" I'll have to work with a number of things I don't entirely understand, will have to use the code written by many other people, etc. So, I see the QCD thing as an opportunity to show I'm capable of doing that. On the other hand, in the case of the QED I'll be intimately involved with each step of the process and will get more out of the details because of it. Will either look better in terms of research experience? The QCD provides an opportunity to work on a problem that seems "real", but I lose out on the other details by going that route.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2016 #2
    Thanks for the post! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
  4. Mar 20, 2016 #3
    I would suggest to go with the QCD project. Making your way out of the research problems (that no one seems to have done before) is an important skill and has no substitute. Some times it acts as a motivation to pursue for the answer as it might make you the first person to know that particular solution.

    As for the black box, get used to it. In research you will encounter many such instances where you will have to use certain results without actually understanding the details. Make sure you can understand the input, have a rough idea about the processing and make sense of the output from the black box.

    But that does not mean you have to skip the black box altogether. Just go through it time to time (during a bus ride for instance). With maturity and experience, you should be able to figure how it works.

    All the best with your endeavor.
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