Searching for universities to do my PhD on foundations of quantum mechanics

In summary: Nuts. Not exactly a paywall, but I'm not seeing a way to close this obnoxious splash screen so that I can read the article without creating an account. Am I missing an "X" somewhere?Sorry, I must have an account so that screen did not come up for me. In summary, if you want to do your Phd on foundations of quantum mechanics, but you don't find researchers in the U.S.A that work on that, Choppy recommends looking for groups working on the topic in other countries, reading review articles and common references, and also looking into mathematical physics departments and physics departments with advisors who are not interested in foundations.
  • #1
Jamister
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I want to do my Phd on foundations of quantum mechanics, but I don't find researchers in the U.S.A that work on that. Is there a good way to search other than to go to each university and go over the PI's?
Thanks
 
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  • #2
If you're not already - start reading as much as you can about current research in that field. Look for review articles. Look for the common references. One thing you'll start to find, if you're reading enough is that there tend to be a few core groups that are working on a specific topic. Those groups are often a good place to start.
 
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  • #3
You could also look in mathematics departments for work in mathematical physics. Also in physics departments you are more likely to get funding with an advisor who is not looking at "foundations", but what he can deliver. In some schools, any work into "foundations" means you will have a teaching assistantship for a long time, and that will increase the time that will be required for thesis completion. This is something to consider.
 
  • #4
Choppy said:
If you're not already - start reading as much as you can about current research in that field. Look for review articles. Look for the common references. One thing you'll start to find, if you're reading enough is that there tend to be a few core groups that are working on a specific topic. Those groups are often a good place to start.
But how do I find these groups?
 
  • #5
orisomech said:
But how do I find these groups?

By doing what Choppy said:

Choppy said:
start reading as much as you can about current research in that field. Look for review articles. Look for the common references.

If you don't want to do this (or aren't doing it already), why do you want to get a PhD in this field and will be doing this for the rest of your life?
 
  • #6
Vanadium 50 said:
By doing what Choppy said:
If you don't want to do this (or aren't doing it already), why do you want to get a PhD in this field and will be doing this for the rest of your life?
I do want to read about current research, and I already started study about the foundations of QM, but the thing is I want to know if there will be an option to do research on it in the USA, because I didn't find a single researcher from USA working on it and I looked in many universities in the USA. So you think I'm not looking good? do you know researchers that work on it in the USA?
 
  • #7
orisomech said:
I do want to read about current research, and I already started study about the foundations of QM, but the thing is I want to know if there will be an option to do research on it in the USA, because I didn't find a single researcher from USA working on it and I looked in many universities in the USA. So you think I'm not looking good? do you know researchers that work on it in the USA?

It took me about 30 seconds to find a research group working on foundations in the USA
I just put "foundations quantum" in Google Scholar and made sure I only looked at papers published in the past two years.
 
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  • #9
mathwonk said:
Based on this article in the NYT, if I were in your situation, I would ask Sean Carroll of CalTech for advice:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/07/opinion/sunday/quantum-physics.html
Nuts. Not exactly a paywall, but I'm not seeing a way to close this obnoxious splash screen so that I can read the article without creating an account. Am I missing an "X" somewhere?

1600726989841.png
 
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  • #10
Sorry, I must have an account so that screen did not come up for me.

Briefly he says almost no one has thought about the foundations for some 50 years or more, perhaps ever since Bohr "bested" Einstein in the public relations arena debating in the 1930's, arguing that we don't need to understand them; but today Dr. Carroll thinks we would be well advised to try harder to do so, and that there are indeed people who take it very seriously.

You might also be able to log in with google and read a few free articles a month.

Here's the headline and sub head:

Even Physicists Don’t Understand Quantum Mechanics
Worse, they don’t seem to want to understand it.
By Sean Carroll
Dr. Carroll is a physicist.
  • Sept. 7, 2019
 
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  • #11
maybe try Travis Norsen at smith college in Northampton, Mass
 
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  • #13
orisomech said:
Asking him is weird, he is not supposed to help me. And If I do ask him, what will I ask? give me names of PI's?
Very few people succeed in a professional career totally on their own. Networking is key. What have you got to lose? Email him. Tell him you read his article. Tell him of your interests, and ask for advice on how to proceed. At worst, you won't get any reply [in rare instances, the worst is a nasty reply, rather than no reply]. At best, he'll give you the guidance you seek.
 
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  • #14
Well, in his article he said this is an interesting subject that has been much neglected, and he thinks it deserves more investigation. Thus I would think you are exactly the kind of person he wrote the article for. So I would suggest asking him exactly for the information that you asked us for.
 
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  • #16
berkeman said:
Nuts. Not exactly a paywall, but I'm not seeing a way to close this obnoxious splash screen so that I can read the article without creating an account. Am I missing an "X" somewhere?

I was recently introduced to a very handy free app called "Pocket". It's a bit like Pinterest in that there is a browser extension button that allows you to pin an article into your own library. When it does that it makes a copy rather than just linking to the article which bypasses the paywall. I did it with this article and was able to read it no problem.
 
  • #17
Several people at Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Canada work in quantum foundations. The faculty usually take graduate students through the University of Waterloo, and they also have a one year masters program in theoretical physics. It’s quite an interesting place.
 
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1. What is the importance of studying the foundations of quantum mechanics in a PhD program?

Studying the foundations of quantum mechanics is crucial for anyone interested in pursuing a career in quantum physics or related fields. It provides a deep understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts that govern the behavior of matter and energy at the quantum level, which is essential for making advancements in this rapidly evolving field.

2. How do I determine which universities offer PhD programs in the foundations of quantum mechanics?

The best way to find universities that offer PhD programs in the foundations of quantum mechanics is to do thorough research. Look for universities with strong physics departments and faculty members who specialize in quantum mechanics. You can also check university rankings and read reviews from current or former students to get an idea of the quality of the program.

3. What qualifications do I need to apply for a PhD program in the foundations of quantum mechanics?

Most universities require applicants to have a master's degree in physics or a related field, with a strong background in quantum mechanics and mathematics. Some universities may also require applicants to have research experience and a high GPA. It is important to carefully review the specific requirements of each university before applying.

4. Can I do a PhD in the foundations of quantum mechanics if I don't have a background in physics?

While a background in physics is typically required for a PhD program in the foundations of quantum mechanics, some universities may offer bridging courses or allow students to take prerequisite courses to catch up on the necessary knowledge. However, it is important to have a strong understanding of physics and mathematics before pursuing a PhD in this field.

5. What career opportunities are available with a PhD in the foundations of quantum mechanics?

A PhD in the foundations of quantum mechanics can lead to a variety of career opportunities, including research positions in academia, government agencies, and private companies. Graduates may also pursue careers in fields such as quantum computing, quantum information science, and quantum engineering. Additionally, a PhD in this field can open up opportunities for teaching and consulting roles.

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