PHD in Theoretical particle physics/cosmology

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  • #1
sam_021
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Hi
i know there's been many threads on this but i looked at them and they don't answer my Q's

Basiaclly I am doing an Mphys Physics Degree in the UK . My university is very experimental, basically all lab work and projects experimental and only theoretical research that is interesting is Quantum information
and obviously that has affected my modules in the fact that they are very leaned towards experimental physics aswell

Ive got a friend at another university in the UK and his university is the opposite .. He learns about all the areas in physics I dream of and the other parts he learns in a very theoretical approach

So what are my chances of being able to go onto a Theoretical physics (particle physics and cosmology are my main interests) PHD ?
considering I have and will not get to do modules in things like Lie groups, gauge theory, string theory and etc like my friend does :(
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
thayes93
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To be honest I can't really help you, but, just out of curiosity what unis are you and your friends at, because I have offers from a few UK unis for physics next year and I was wondering what others are thinking about them.. i.e. to help me choose and so on.
 
  • #3
sam_021
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I go to leeds and my friend goes to kings college ;)
 
  • #4
cristo
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You might have to do something like part 3 or the imperial MSc in fundamental forces and fields, but it's impossible to tell without looking at your transcript. What year are you in? I it too late to drop down to the BSc and take a masters instead of your fourth year?
 
  • #5
sam_021
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Ye I am in third year and i can't drop into Bsc anymore :(

my Third year modules were/are
Theoretical physics
Advanced Mathematics
Particle physics
Quantum Computation
High Energy physics seminar -This is a research module and I am begging my lecturer at the moment to let me do research on theoretical aspects, he wasnt very happy but we will ahve to see LOL
Advanced QM
Cosmology - its a maths module
Electromagnetic radiation and plasma physics
Nuclear physics and energy

and 4th yr I am planning on doing
QFT
General relativity
Quantum optics
Quantum information science
Astroparticle seminar - Again I am going to try and convince them to let me do research in theoretical areas
 
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  • #6
Ryker
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I'm no expert, but it seems to me as if King's College offers all of these fancy sounding and seemingly very specialized courses that look awesome at first glance, but might not necessarily be such when looked upon from the viewpoint that an undergrad education is supposed to give you a firm foundation to build on. Leeds on the other hand seems to cover all that you need and will prepare you for any kind of further studies, but will do so in an old-fashioned "red brick" style instead of the posh London one :smile: I don't know, when I looked at various Physics curricula in the UK, yours is what universities usually offer, so I really can't see how you wouldn't be able to continue studying what you want to.
 
  • #7
cristo
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Well it sounds like you're doing plenty of theoretical modules. I wouldn't worry about not doing courses in string theory or lie groups-- you'll have time at the beginning of your PhD to learn these things if needs be.

Do you do a dissertation/project (or is that what the seminar modules are? Do you have to write a mini thesis for these modules?).

Try looking around for somewhere to do a research project over the summer between 3rd and 4th year. These things are very popular in the US but are somewhat few and far between over here. I'm more on the cosmology side, but know that Oxford do something like this (albeit mainly for their undergrads) and I think sussex usually have some grants for summer projects in cosmology.
 
  • #8
sam_021
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Thanks a lot for the info and help guys, it really helped me and appreciated :D

Well it sounds like you're doing plenty of theoretical modules. I wouldn't worry about not doing courses in string theory or lie groups-- you'll have time at the beginning of your PhD to learn these things if needs be.

Do you do a dissertation/project (or is that what the seminar modules are? Do you have to write a mini thesis for these modules?).

Try looking around for somewhere to do a research project over the summer between 3rd and 4th year. These things are very popular in the US but are somewhat few and far between over here. I'm more on the cosmology side, but know that Oxford do something like this (albeit mainly for their undergrads) and I think sussex usually have some grants for summer projects in cosmology.
Oh sorry forgot to mention that, because I am on a 4yr course we do labs (experimental) again in 3rd year and do a project in 4th yr, ill probably do a project in either Quantum information or Astrophysics if there is any cosmology involved

And in england i think you can only do summer research placements at the university you study at, I've applied for a few at leeds (interesting stuff but nothing i want to go into) But i don't think i can apply to other universities as they take their own students
 
  • #9
cristo
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Oh sorry forgot to mention that, because I am on a 4yr course we do labs (experimental) again in 3rd year and do a project in 4th yr, ill probably do a project in either Quantum information or Astrophysics if there is any cosmology involved

I see, well that's good.

And in england i think you can only do summer research placements at the university you study at, I've applied for a few at leeds (interesting stuff but nothing i want to go into) But i don't think i can apply to other universities as they take their own students

I don't think that's necessarily true: it's probably just the case that the faculty have more contact with their own students. Maybe you should try emailing a few people (though I'd hurray, since deadlines to apply for these things tend to be in Feb).
 

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