I'm applying for an REU this summer and I'm doing research this semester in QCD. My adviser does top quark research and at the home university of the REU applying to, there are two professors who do research in topics I'm particularly interested in, namely Lattice QCD. Neither of these two professors have acted as mentors for the program in the years of past projects listed, so I'm not sure they're even open to working on something. Is it worth mentioning that I know that these two members of the theory group work on things which I'm very interested in? Or should I just talk about my interest and hope that (if selected) I can get paired with someone in the theory group for research. I don't have any problems with experimental research, I think I'll end up doing some this summer, but this opportunity seems pretty fantastic if possible. I know I plan on mentioning my interest in a particular subset of experimental physics which a student worked on back in 2007, it happens to be one of my favorite areas of HEP (I have about 4-5 main areas I'm interested in). Sorry if the above implies I'm only applying to one REU :P I'm applying to several, this is just an opportunity that I would like to take advantage of in particular, if possible. Advice on what I should do? ***Edit: Would it be unreasonable to email the professor and ask them if they had the capacity to take a student for the summer, at all? I have a feeling that there is a combination of busyness on the part of the professor and lack of applicants who would fit the criteria, so I think it might be a good idea to just ask and see if they would even consider taking a student in the first place?