I am 34 and professional software developer working working in the finance sector. I have been in IT for the last 10 years but my background is Physics, i have a 1st class honours in Physics and a masters degree in computational physics and i am contemplating doing a Phd in physics because its something i have always wanted to do. My maths is still pretty strong in terms of calculus, algebra, linears algegra, pde's etc. Over the last 12 months i have spent time brushing up mainly on my mathematics and i am finding that this is proving to be useful as it means when reviewing physics books i can focus on the physics. A few questions - 1. With so many years out of the academic world if i decide to apply for a Phd i am not sure what i can do in terms of academic references ? 2. Seems there is quite a bit of doom and gloom in terms of research in Physics, am i mad thinking about doing a Phd ? 3. I am from the UK but i would like to do a Phd in the US but not sure what schools i should apply to ? I would like to do a Phd in Condensed matter physics. Any advice much appreciated. Cheers David.