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Other Physics Graduate Study - Which Area?

  1. Jul 1, 2017 #1
    Hi everyone,

    For many years I have been planning to become a theoretical physicist. If everything goes well, next year I will be graduating with a MMath, having studied QFT, GR, cosmology, particle physics, black holes, differential geometry, etc. This fall I am going to apply for a PhD in theoretical physics. My primary concern and a cause of significant uncertainty is the area of future study and research (I think it is reasonable to assume that the choice of area will define the institutions where I am going to apply) and therefore I would like to ask the wise community of this forum for suggestions and guidance related to finding or creating the main area of interest. :)

    Do you think, for example, that reading reviews of the major topics in physics journals will be optimal? Moreover, which of the following fields do you think are worthy of pursuing? Which of these are promising and which of them - dead or too competitive?

    Some of the topics in which I have interest:
    Cosmology, Structure, with some aspects of Astrophysics
    Cosmology, Inflation, the Early Universe
    GR, Black Holes
    Mathematical GR, twistors, non-commutative geometry etc.
    QFT, physics beyond SM (symmetry breaking, axions?)
    Quantum Gravity
    Nature of DM and DE

    Topics in which I have slightly less interest:
    Experimental Particle Physics
    String Theory
    Foundations of QM
    ...something else?

    I don't mind if some of my work involves numerical methods, but as this is not something I love doing, things like computational GR are not for me, I think.

    So, to summarize, my questions are:

    1. What should I do to discover a promising area?

    2. Which area is worth pursuing at present - so that I could contribute something to it in the course of my PhD? :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2017 #2
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