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Particle/Nuclear physics ~essay topic

  • Thread starter linda300
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hey,

I've been searching for a while now for a topic to write a 6 pageish physics orientated essay on. I still have no idea on what I should pick or what a good subject would be to write 6 pages on and include a decent amount of equations. There isn't really any other criteria that I have been given, just that it must be based on real journal articles, it could be a comparison between a bunch of articles, an attempt to reproduce some numerics or anything else really.

Does anyone have any ideas on some papers / something I could write 6 pages about including a pretty decent amount of equations?

Thank you
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Experimental or theoretical particle or nuclear physics?
Which background do you have, and how much knowledge can you assume for the readers?

Why do you want many equations?
 
  • #3
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Hey mfb,

I can pick experimental or theoretical, or both and compare I guess, I have the choice to stick with particle physcis or nuclear but I haven't found anything good to do in either case.

It's for a graduate level Intro to particle/nuclear physics, I haven't found any papers which are way out of my league yet, I think I should be capable of extracting useful information out of most papers with the exception of papers which use high level mathematics, if they exist for this topic (like topological stuff, I'm not familiar with at all).

The reason that I want a decent amount of equations is because it's supposed to be "physicsy" and show that I have some understanding of the physics involved. I think the best way of doing that is including and explaining equations and maybe even having a few derivations.

But yea I'm really having trouble finding a specific topic for this essay would really appreciate the help,

Thanks
 
  • #5
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I haven't found any papers which are way out of my league yet
Random paper from hep-th at arxiv
Like that?
(Nearly) all theoretical papers in particle physics use quantum field theory, which relies on group theory. For quantum gravity approaches, you also need general relativity, which uses differential geometry.

The reason that I want a decent amount of equations is because it's supposed to be "physicsy"
Okay......
Equations are mathematics. Physics is the art of finding the right equations.

I like the J/Psi discovery papers (Physical Review Letters: http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v33/i23/p1404_1 [Broken]/http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v33/i23/p1406_1 [Broken]), and they have a lot of physics if you dig deep enough, even without equations.
 
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  • #6
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Hey,

The short answer is not so much, mfb gave a great suggestion, however I forgot to mention I was looking for a more recently published paper.

That thread was unrelated to this one, I ended up finding a nice experimental quantum paper published in nature for that casual talk - this talk was not graded.

This question is different from the thread you mentioned as it is me asking if anyone had any ideas on an essay (not a talk) topic in the field of nuclear/particle physics.

I would have preferred to have this thread in the general physics section, but last time I posted there it was moved here. I guess in a way this is academic advice, but it seems that in this section people who post are mainly looking to give advice about degrees and class choices, rather then interesting papers for essay topics.

I think in there would be many more people able to assist me in the general physics section. It'd be nice if I could post there but if you disagree, so be it.

Edit:

Thanks heaps mfb, sorry I only just saw your post, I'll have a look right now
 
  • #7
vanhees71
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A pretty recent topic is the "discovery of the Higgs boson". From reading the thread, I still don't get, at which level this essay should be. To me, physics without mathematics is a contradiction in itself. How can one adequately communicate physics without mathematics? In my opinion that's impossible. To understand, why the Higgs boson should exist, you need a pretty great deal of mathematics and quantum field theory. A very good popular book on the subject is

Frank Close, The Uncertainty Puzzle

That's the theoretical side of the story. For the recent experiments at the LHC you rely on the original publications from the ATLAS and CMS collaborations. Even in the last year, since July 4, 2012, a lot has been going on, culminating in the fact that the LHC physicists now pretty confidently talk about the discovery of "the Higgs" boson (and not of a "new reconance" which pretty much looks like "a Higgs" boson :-)).
 
  • #8
ZapperZ
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Hey,

The short answer is not so much, mfb gave a great suggestion, however I forgot to mention I was looking for a more recently published paper.

That thread was unrelated to this one, I ended up finding a nice experimental quantum paper published in nature for that casual talk - this talk was not graded.

This question is different from the thread you mentioned as it is me asking if anyone had any ideas on an essay (not a talk) topic in the field of nuclear/particle physics.
No, I was not referring to the topic. I thought that from all the suggestions so far, you should at least know where to look for such things. If you notice, the sources for where you can find these things are the same.

Zz.
 
  • #9
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Hey vanhees71,

Thanks, that's a good idea, I've been trying to find some papers which give a theoretical model and explanation of a (at the time) non-existent particle and compare it with experimental findings which proves its existence (exactly like the higg's boson) but at the moment I haven't found exactly quite what I'm looking for, know any key words I can search? I will definitely start looking into higgs though, I was just curious if there were any other particles I could look at as well.

ZapperZ:

I know where to look. The reason I am posting is for assistance in finding what to look for. Firstly, because when I posted this thread I didn't have a very good idea what to do this essay on and secondly, sometimes specific keywords, or simply things I don't know about make searching significantly easier. It's also great to see other peoples opinions.
 
  • #10
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Most particles were predicted before they were discovered. Neutrinos based on energy conservation, the charm quark based on symmetry of the quark model, the gluon based on quantum chromodynamics, the bottom and top quark based on CP violation, W and Z based on weak interactions. The Higgs is just one of many examples, and it is the most recent one of course.
 

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