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Ranking of a set of theoretical particle physics programs

  1. Jan 9, 2016 #1
    Among the following programs, which are the best for theoretical particle physics?

    Stony Brook, Penn State, Iowa State, Urbana Champaign, Arizona, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Florida, Tennesse KnoxVille

    Are there some other programs of lower ranking in the league tables, but has a strong high energy research group?
     
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  3. Jan 9, 2016 #2
    From my research, I think only Stony Brook and Penn State have very good high energy theory research groups.

    Penn State has Abhay Ashktekhar and Stony Brook is renowned for obvious reasons.
     
  4. Jan 9, 2016 #3

    WannabeNewton

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    When you say HEP theory do you mean particle phenomenology? Or are you talking about research areas more akin to those you'd see in HEPT on arxiv i.e. string theory, field theory, semi-classical gravity?

    Also, while Penn State is certainly good for HEPT, Ashtekar mainly does classical gravity and loop quantum gravity. Neither is what one would usually call HEPT.

    Have you considered University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, UC Davis, or Rutgers? These aren't lower ranked compared to Penn or Stonybrook but they're arguably within neighboring ranks.
     
  5. Jan 9, 2016 #4
    I mean string theory, field theory, semi-classical gravity. I would work in particle phenomenology only in case I don't get a supervisor in these areas.

    Is that because loop quantum gravity and classical gravity are not mainstream research topics?

    The deadline to apply for these programs for next fall are gone.

    What do you think of Illinois-Urbana Champaign's HEPT program?
     
  6. Jan 9, 2016 #5

    WannabeNewton

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    Classical gravity is certainly a mainstream field, albeit a small one. The only schools in the US I know off the top of my head that have dedicated GR research groups are Caltech, UChicago, and Cornell. LQG on the other hand I would say is not mainstream in the sense that it has a competing research program (String Theory) with far more people working in it, far more publications, and far more resources (e.g. seminars). Within the US I can only think of Penn State when it comes to schools with LQG groups.

    It's not as strong as some of the others on your list like Stonybrook or Penn. It's far more renowned for condensed matter (theory and experiment).

    EDIT: Also the deadline for UC Davis has not passed. The priority deadline for Davis was Jan 1 but you can still apply by Jan 15. Davis has Markus Luty and recently hired strong HEPT people like Mukund Rangamani and Veronica Hubeny. Davis would certainly be worth looking at.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  7. Jan 9, 2016 #6
    What are some of the major hot topics of research in classical gravity?

    Would you also know of any higher ranking programs with a strong research group in HEPT which are still accepting applications?
     
  8. Jan 9, 2016 #7

    WannabeNewton

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    In theory (i.e. not numerical) I would say higher order self-force corrections, formulations of extended body motion, two-timescale and post-Newtonian calculations of binary inspirals, modified theories of gravity, higher dimensional GR, stability problems for black holes (including things like black branes), asymptotic symmetries/BMS group in black hole spacetimes (e.g. the recent paper by Hawking, Strominger, and Perry on soft black hole hair). Of course, there are many other topics being pursued within classical GR but these are what immediately come to mind. If you want a more detailed perspective of classical gravity research then check out the GR-QC section of arxiv.

    Not that I can think of, sorry. The latest deadline on my own list of schools that I applied/will apply to is Jan 15 and that is only for Penn State.

    You might also want to look into the Perimeter Scholars International.
     
  9. Jan 9, 2016 #8
    I've been told that this is one of the toughest programs to get into (for an international student).

    One of my professors told me that, to get into the PSI program, you need a recommendation letter which says that you are the best student he/she has seen in 5 or 10 years.

    The PSI program, I guess, is the most elite Masters level theoretical physics program.
     
  10. Jan 9, 2016 #9

    WannabeNewton

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    Yeah it's definitely extremely selective but it has no application fee!
     
  11. Jan 9, 2016 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    I think scientific merit is more important than "ranking in the league tables".
     
  12. Jan 9, 2016 #11
    Scientific merit, in the sense of, the strength of the research groups of the program?
     
  13. Jan 9, 2016 #12

    Vanadium 50

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    Which word didn't make sense?
     
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