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B Research Topics?

  1. Dec 12, 2016 #1
    Hello, I am a high school student, I'm kind of interested in astrophysics and cosmology. Anyways, I am starting a research this year for my school research. I would love some ideas about what to research on, I'm not too good with quantum physics. I have been looking into multiple topics but I think that this forum would be helpful to help with the ideas.
     
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  3. Dec 13, 2016 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    To get good advice you need to explain what science and math you have studied and what your school considers a "school research". For example, have you studied calculus? For "school research", must you do experiments? Are you expected to read about a certain topic and write an essay about it? How many hours are you expected to spend in order to complete the school research?
     
  4. Dec 13, 2016 #3
    Well I am still a freshmen, I would not like much math to be involved I'm not too god with it :(. Any topics is fine it's more of an open research that I pick. And no experiments are required it is theoretical or can be theoretical.
     
  5. Dec 13, 2016 #4

    Stephen Tashi

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    You still haven't explained how big a project it is. For example, does the research amount to reading about a topic in science and then writing a 15 page "term paper" about it? Do you have a month to complete the work? Or all semester ?
     
  6. Dec 13, 2016 #5
    I really have all year to finish it, and it is a research paper. It can be any topic within science but I am choosing cosmology and astrophysics. It is for a contest so there really is no page limit and such things.
     
  7. Dec 13, 2016 #6

    Stephen Tashi

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    Will the judges for the contest be university professors ? -perhaps professors in astrophysics and cosmology? Or will the judges be teachers at your high school?

    If the judges are likely to have an advanced knowledge of cosmology and astrophysics, I suggest you pick at topic that does not require advanced mathematical concepts. For example, don't pick a topic that involves General Relativity" or "Quantum Mechanics". Pick a topic like "Near Earth Asteroids" or "The Climate of Mars".
     
  8. Dec 13, 2016 #7
    Judges are likely to have some knowledge but I do not believe that have advanced knowledge.
     
  9. Dec 13, 2016 #8
    I'm thinking of researching this:
    "Why did the universe have such low entropy in the past, resulting in the distinction between past and future and the second law of thermodynamics?"
     
  10. Dec 13, 2016 #9

    Stephen Tashi

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    That's a good question, but not one you can investigate well without getting into advanced mathematics. If you pick a complicated and controversial topic, you will find lots of "popularized" material about it. If the judges enjoy reading popularized science articles they might enjoy reading a paper written in that style. You need to consider whether the judges have such tastes. There are educators who frown on popularized science. Can you find examples of papers that won the contest in previous years?
     
  11. Dec 13, 2016 #10
    These are some of the questions I am thinking of, which might you think is most applicable for a research in my case?

    - Are there physical phenomena, such as wave function collapse or black holes, which irrevocably destroy information about their prior states? How is quantum information stored as a state of a quantum system?

    - Why is there far more matter than antimatter in the observable universe?

    - Is the universe heading towards a Big Freeze, a Big Rip, a Big Crunch, or a Big Bounce? Or is it part of an infinitely recurring cyclic model?

    (The topics that won last year were chemistry and agriculture topics, I am not so sure what exactly they were)
     
  12. Dec 13, 2016 #11

    Stephen Tashi

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    My guess is that most topics in chemistry and agriculture are much less complicated and controversial that the topics you propose. So none of the topics you listed look like "winners".
     
  13. Dec 13, 2016 #12
    Even if I do not win I am trying to just get a better idea of physics, do you propose any topics or questions I should do?
     
  14. Dec 13, 2016 #13

    Stephen Tashi

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    What do you mean by "a better idea of physics"? The technical details of ideas in physics involve mathematics. Reading popularized literature that uses only verbal accounts, doesn't give you a better technical idea of physics, but perhaps you consider such accounts good. I enjoy reading such accounts - if they are short!

    Physics includes more than cosmology and astrophysics. If you followed the usual path of technical intellectual development in physics, you would begin by studying classical mechanics - in very "down-to-earth" situations.
     
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