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Theoretical Cosmology

  1. May 6, 2009 #1
    Hey people.

    I hold an Astrophysics Msci (undergraduate masters) at 2:1 in the UK, and I'm currently preparing to apply to PhD programmes in 6-7 months time. I have a few questions. I'm interested in theoretical cosmology, and theories of galactic evolution - I'm looking for good universities in the UK that might be willing to cover a PhD in this area, and so far I have the University of Durham as a candidate (others? possibly considering other places in europe, though it seems foreign phd students have an odd time in most european countries).

    I'm weary of the fact that the University of Durham has a very good reputation for physics, but am hoping that the 2:1 I have will be acceptable with the other achievements I have had throughout my degree. I've had an interest in this area ever since i covered a short project on a related topic early on in my degree, and have had an active interest in reading publications in the area, though I may not have understood them all. Is it reasonable to include information like this on an application in such an obvious way?

    I would also like to hear people's thoughts on the mathematics that would be needed to tackle an area such as this? since I would very much like to spend what will now be my year off bolstering my math - I feel that my degree spent too much time on physics and not enough on math: I'm a good physicist but fully a lousy mathematician. Any recommendation of books in related math or cosmology areas are welcome.

    thank you,

  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2009 #2

  4. May 9, 2009 #3
    Sussex or Leicester might be worth a look. I would look at *people* rather than Universities. There are some good cosmology books by UK people.

    Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Peter Coles

    The Infinite Cosmos: Questions from the frontiers of cosmology by Joseph Silk

    Cosmology: Fourth edition by Michael Rowan-Robinson

    An Introduction to Modern Cosmology, 2nd Edition by Andrew Liddle

    The Oxford Companion to Cosmology by Andrew Liddle and Jon Loveday [This is a must read! Oxford Companions are usually really good for getting an overview of a field at a reasonable level -- that is, comprehensive but not too advanced...]

    I would read these, or Liddle's more advanced works, to get an idea of the mathematics you should be reading & the people you should be seeking out as supervisors

    Liddle is at Sussex, where I did my MSc (before he arrived unfortunately!). They have quite a strong theoretical astronomy research tradition. I didn't enjoy the MSc much, but in doing a PhD it's the supervisor that counts...
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