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Senior Thesis Topic

  1. Mar 29, 2015 #1
    Hello all!
    I plan on doing a senior thesis in order to graduate with Honor's in Physics (Specialization Astrophysics). Although I'm only in my second year, I wish to begin research to be better prepared for when I actually pair with an adviser for directed study and thesis writing. I plan on writing a theoretical thesis (I am in an experimental research group, but would rather have a theoretical thesis).

    I have recently become very interested in general relativity, relativistic fluid dynamics, and electrodynamics. I have begun to study these topics by my own but still have much to learn. Does anybody have any thoughts on what would be good to study for my thesis? Of course, I do not want someone to directly tell me a topic, but rather am seeking for a little guidance to help push me in the right direction and narrow down my study.

    I have seen a senior thesis on the derivation of the Schwarzschild metric/solution which was interesting to read. Any ideas / topics / suggestions for reading would be greatly appreciated. Thank you :wink:
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    One thing you can do is to get copies of good senior theses to see what is required to write one and the depth of understanding needed.

    Next I would really focus on your coursework, especially mathematics courses as they will be needed for any theoretical topic. Your advisor should be able to provide a list of math courses relevant to GR. At a minimum, you will need to understand Vector Calculus and Tensor Analysis in order to deal with GR topics.
  4. Mar 30, 2015 #3

    David Horgan

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    Gold Member

    Hi Brian, some of the best senior thesis in physics I have seen are those from Wooster College. Here is a link to their undergraduate research programme, where you can find advice on writing thesis, examples of senior thesis and thesis titles: http://physics.wooster.edu/REU/projects.html
  5. Apr 3, 2015 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Do you have a faculty member (in particular, a theorist) supervising your thesis? If so, you would be much better off asking them for ideas - there are so many things you can study. And, presumably this does not need to be original research, so you could even find a few related articles and summarise them (e.g. are there any particular exact solutions of the Einstein field equations that interest you?)
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