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Particle Physics degree

  1. Aug 6, 2015 #1
    Does anyone know of any schools that offer degrees specifically in particle physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    But your profile and introduction thread say you're already a particle physicist, and have even written a book on it. Why do you need another degree?
  4. Aug 6, 2015 #3
    And in another thread he says he's 17 :confused:
  5. Aug 6, 2015 #4
    I am 17. I'm an amateur scientist i guess. I really love particle physics and theoretical physics, and am pretty good at it.
  6. Aug 6, 2015 #5
    Probably none for undergrad (and it'd probably be a bad idea to specialize so much in undergrad even if there was a school that allowed you to). Focus on getting a physics degree then worry about specializations later on in Junior/senior year and in grad school.
  7. Aug 6, 2015 #6
  8. Aug 6, 2015 #7
    The University of Southampton has an MPhys Particle Physics, however it's only available through internal transfer from the regular Physics programme if you have like the top 5 marks in the cohort. It's basically the same as the regular Physics course up to third year, then you do some of the 4th year modules in third year instead and spend your 4th year at CERN doing research onsite.

    Generally speaking you don't need an undergrad degree in "particle physics" to do work in HEP including particle physics. Just get a degree in Physics (possibly in Theoretical Physics or Physics and/with Mathematics if you're really gung ho on the theory side) and you'll be on the right track.
  9. Aug 6, 2015 #8
    Thanks guys c:
  10. Aug 6, 2015 #9
    Protip: if you're in an environment with actual professional physicists, then saying that you're a particle physicist when you're not, that probably isn't a good idea.
  11. Aug 7, 2015 #10
    Sorry... Didnt think of that ...
  12. Aug 7, 2015 #11
    I have written a book though.
  13. Aug 7, 2015 #12
    Well, be happy it happened on an anonymous internet forum and not in real life with your physics professors. Your reputation would have gotten a big hit.
  14. Aug 7, 2015 #13
    Yes it would have. I apologize.
  15. Aug 7, 2015 #14
    How serious should we take a physics book of a 17 year old with no degree in physics and no publications?

    Listen, you're clearly very interested in physics. That's a very good thing. But boasting that you're good at particle physics and that you wrote a book on particle physics, that severely hurts your reputation among actual professional scientists. Again, be happy it happened on an internet forum where it doesn't really matter. But don't try to do this in front of actual physics professors.
  16. Aug 7, 2015 #15
    Ok. And your right, and again, i am sorry.
  17. Aug 11, 2015 #16
    Where I'm studying (Sapienza University, Rome) there is a MSc in Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics (Particle Physics essentially), but to get into you need to have a BSc in Physics and a certain number of CFU (University Credits) in certain fields, in particular Classical Physics, Quantum and Statistical Mechanics, Relativity and Solid State Physics or Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics (undergrad exam).
    At the end, you need a BSc before going into this, and specializing in a BSc, even in my opinion, is quite stupid, unless you're sure of keeping that track;
    In this same BSc course you can choose to either take a general Physics curriculum or an Astrophysics curriculum, and you take the second only if you're quite freaking sure that you'll keep up with Astrophysics, because it makes things harder if you want to get a MSc in Physics and not in Astrophysics, although jumping from a Physics BSc to an Astrophysics MSc isn't a problem, especially since in your BSc you have 2 free slots (out of 24 exams) in which you can choose an exam related to your course, which can be Astrophysics, and maybe even Astronomy.

    So, listen to the people up there, first of all take a Physics BSc, which is hard enough by itself, and then specialize in what you want to specialize which can be even something different from Particle Physics, I mean, look how broad Physics is! Maybe in 3 years you discover that you really like Biophysics or Condensed Matter Physics, you never know. Plus you get the fun stuff the same in the BSc lmao, you can still get your hands on in complex Mathematics and advanced Physics.

    Good luck with your choice and your career!
    -Matteo, your fellow Physics student.
  18. Aug 11, 2015 #17
    Thanks c:
  19. Aug 12, 2015 #18


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    There is no particle physics major in undergrad, there is a physics major where you take the core classes and then can take electives like particle physics. However, for a useful course (which usually called introduction to the standard model) you need to have a solid foundation in the first year grad classes and QFT. You won't specialize that far until you start a PhD where you can do experiment or particle phenomenology as a theorist (and of course there are string theorists trying to reproduce the standard model in an effective way).

    I also think that part of the reason you seem to be fixated on particle physics right now is how the field is portrayed. It is an area that is very hyped and attracts the attention of the general public. It is a very romanticized field. There are tons of people who will claim to be interested in particle physics after reading some popular science book who end up discovering that the real deal is not what they expected.
  20. Aug 13, 2015 #19
    quoted for truth

    Plus there's more money in biophys or condensed matter, the latter of which also does some pretty fundamental work as well anyhow.

    Although I feel like graphene is beginning to replace HEP as the "ooh physics!" fad, even within physics itself :x
  21. Aug 13, 2015 #20


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    At least in terms of devices people aren't as into graphene these days. People are becoming interested in other 2D materials like the transition metal dichalcogenides (MoSe2 and WSe2 are popular). The mobility of these materials is very high (of course not as high as graphene) and by contrast they are gapped with interesting transport and optical properties. Many experimental groups that work graphene with graphene are now interested in the dichalcogenides.

    Condensed matter physics is just as fundamental and interesting as high energy physics. A lot of things particle physicists are interested in (like spontaneous symmetry breaking) actually were arguably first seen in condensed matter systems. Biophysics is pretty new as a field but has taken off recently with a lot of interesting work currently being done. However, these fields haven't been hyped up to the general public so a lot of people don't seem to think of them when they think of "physics".
  22. Aug 13, 2015 #21
    One thing is for sure, don't specialize during your Bachelor. You still might discover one field you didn't know before that you might like even more than Particle Physics.
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