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Thesis topic

  1. Jul 24, 2004 #1
    Hey, I need a bit of a hand planning, I'd appreciate your advice.

    The situation: I need a master's thesis topic (my advisor has given me some freedom in choosing :biggrin:) completable in 2-3 years that could bring together the following areas of physics

    2) relativity
    3)topology (this is a must, as my advisor is a topologist)

    and I'm certainly not opposed to pinches of

    a) Mechanics
    b) Electrodynamics

    Basically, I'd like to use my master's thesis as an excuse to study quantum stuff and relativity stuff with topological stuff for three years.

    Most importantly is time, I could certainly keep myself busy for three years, but I need to have some sort of plan to win over the love of my advisor!

    Any and all ideas are welcome and appreciated. If necessary assume I have a BA in mathematics and physics.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 24, 2004 #2
    Does your thesis have to be original research?
  4. Jul 24, 2004 #3
    No it does not have to be original research and in fact I do not want to do any original research yet. I would like, rather, to do a summary/overview of some part/problem/or the like in theorectical physics, involving topology, that is doable in no more than three years.

    You see, I will not be going anywhere after my master's but going on to a PhD here and I would like my master's thesis to provide a starting point for actual original research for my PhD thesis.

    So in summary the master's thesis gives me three years to study up.

  5. Jul 25, 2004 #4
    There are journals that specialize in detailed reviews of scientific topics. I haven't looked into them for years, but if I remember

    Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
    Reviews in Mathematical Physics
    Reviews of Modern Physics
    Comments on Astrophysics
    Comments on Atomic and Molecular Physics
    Comments on Condensed Matter Physics
    Comments on Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Comments on Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

    Note: I am not familiar with the content of all of them.

    By the way, shouldn't your advisor be helping you in this selection?
  6. Jul 25, 2004 #5
    Thanks I'll look into this

    Good question, I'll make a long answer shorter. I'm stuck at this school, can't leave if I wanted. The math and physics departments here really suck. My advisor, the only topologist, understands my position and has given me some free reign on choosing my topic. However, since I want to incorporate theorectical physics (something he knows practically nothing about) I need outside help. So I'm writing professors from other colleges, posting on these forums etc.

    The most important advice for the topic is how long it will take. I can think of a bunch of different directions to go but I'm not sure how long it will take to get there. I have to have some sort of 'plan' to propose to my advisor in order for him be on board.

    Does that answer your question?

  7. Jul 25, 2004 #6


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    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Suggestion. Go to the arxiv, select hep-th, and do find. Then enter topology in the search key for the abstract. You might want to do this for earlier years too. See what you can do with the papers that come up. There's a lot of work on toplogical field theories for example. Also look up knots the same way. Some of the physics might be beyond you, but this is a master's thesis after all, you are supposed to do some skull work! :)
  8. Jul 25, 2004 #7

    That's a nice resource (arxiv), didn't really know about it. I got 742 results from the search (doing it for all years) and so I think I will be busy for a while.

  9. Jul 25, 2004 #8


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    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Great! Let us know if you find a good topic. I mainlined in algebraic topology at grad school years ago, and I'm willing to put in what ppoor help I can contribute.
  10. Jul 26, 2004 #9
    Hey homology, sorry this might be a bit off-topic, but I'm just curious how is it that you're stuck to one school?
  11. Jul 26, 2004 #10
    Without going into details, it involves my stepdaughters and my wife, and her O2 wasting ex-husband. Moving entails custody disputes which leave the open the likely possibility of my kids ending up with their fathers more time than my wife or I care for.

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