Programs PhD and programming skills


I'd like to do a PhD in theoretical particle physics, but I have the following problem. I found an advertisement, where I should work on numerical algorithms for the calculation of
some certain integrals. Furthermore, I should work on Monte Carlo simulations.

During my master thesis I worked on analytic computations and I was never really confronted with "programming tasks" during my studies.

I have good knowledge of Java and I know the basics of C++, which I aquired during my school time and I already used them in different projects. But there, I was confronted with the integration of
sql-databases, game development etc., but never with physical calculations.

Now I just like to know if such knowledge and practical experience with physical problems is necessary to start a PhD or if I can aquire this skills during the PhD. What do you know about that? Was anyone already in a similar situation?

I would be very glad if someone could help me. Thanks!


Theoretical HEP is less programming-intensive than Experimental HEP, but you're probably still going to need to know how to do it. Depends on what exactly you're looking to get into.
for my undergrad research project that involved MC simulations, I had to relearn alot of stuff I forgot from my c++ class I had taken 2 years ago. I'd imagine its similar for the phD
I had no problem getting a post like you describe with about the same kind of experience that you describe. The one difference was that it was in a "non-sexy" area - magnetohydrodynamics rather than particle physics. You don't want to go in blind, try reading up on some of this stuff. I keep on meaning to read "Object-Oriented Implementation of Numerical Methods: An Introduction with Java & Smalltalk: An Introduction with Java and Smalltalk (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Software Engineering and Programming) by Didier H. Besset", but I don't have to do this stuff for a living anymore :) As it's Java-based then you may be able to develop 'something' quickly, maybe before interview. Can you solve some of your MSc problems numerically? (Also - Smalltalk really rocks. It's a nice language to have on your CV, the "object cognoscenti" will rate you for knowing about it...)

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