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Physics Topic Suggestions!

  1. Oct 14, 2011 #1
    Hey there! I'm a second year physics grad student and I've been asked to give a 30 minute presentation to my department on something about cosmology or a cosmology-like topic.

    I've been hunting the archive for weeks and I can't find anything too interesting (that I can understand) to talk about. The "that I can understand" is key. I'm going to need to understand what I'm talking about in order to present it, of course, but seeing that I'm only a second year (my first year consisted of studying for the qual) I don't have much of a deep background yet to really grasp most of the concepts in those papers.

    Does anyone know of any new interesting ideas related to cosmology that someone of my background would be able to understand enough to give a presentation on?

    Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks for your time!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2011 #2
    Did you looked at cosmic rays? They are made up mainly from highly energetic protons (90%) and gamma rays, and the interesting thing is that when they hit the atmosphere, they produce a shower of exotic particles that can help theoretical physicists a lot. In fact, the energies of that radiation are much higher than the ones reached at LHC, making these kind of phenomena like a more powerful way to explore the world of particle physics. Moreover, there is a lot of interest on where these particle and radiation come from (there is not a certain source), because they can help us learn something more about some of the pieces of our universe (i.g. black holes) or even they can carry information about the first instants of its life. Another interesting issue (this one developed in an article on Scientific American, dating back three or four years ago) regards the fact that these radiations are dangerous for all the living beings, and that could be a serious hindrance for human space travels: calculations showed that during the trip to Mars, in a spacecraft improperly built, almost 1/3 of human DNA would be spoiled from these radiations.

    I don't think it's a difficult topic - I studied it in a project at the high school - and it can be linked to a lot of other different physics fields.
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