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Topics for UG Research (Physics and EE)

  1. Nov 28, 2007 #1
    Hi everyone

    I was hoping someone could point me to some research topics for undergraduate research work in areas in Physics and Electrical Engineering. I am presently an engineering sophomore with UG courses in Physics, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering (and other subjects).

    I have a wide range of interests in EE and Physics. But to zero down on a few from both fields, I am interested in: Microelectronics, Device Physics and Signal Processing in EE. In Physics, I am primarily interested in quantum computation, high energy physics and experimental condensed matter physics.

    Given my interests, what are the topics in quantum computation, HEP, microelectronics and signal processing that I could work on? I am searching the net for ideas and it seems that there is very little I can do in HEP at this stage. But I am still hopeful about HEP, especially, since experimental HEP draws on from both physics and electronics (and other experimental branches) and theoretical HEP has always interested me.

    [And since I am an EE major with a deep interest in pure Physics, I would like to diversify and learn as much physics as possible by way of projects and independent research since a lot of this is not possbile during my undergraduate training (due to workload and course constraints).]

    Microelectronics and quantum computation seem more accessible, although between the two, quantum computation perhaps requires a lot more grounding in QM that I have at the moment. But still, since a research project also means learning a lot of things you don't know already, I am optimistic that there are things I could do in QC despite my limited knowledge at this stage.

    I have to identify some research topics to work on during summer 2008. Any suggestions/ideas/opinions are welcome!

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2007 #2
    Hi, just a reminder...can someone please have a look at this. I'm on a tight schedule looking for topics in quantum computation now...but I can't pinpoint a problem.
  4. Nov 29, 2007 #3
    I'm doing research with a professor in nano-optics. We're studying light dispersion with surface plasmons. It's highly applicable to microelectronics and signal processing, as one of the main applications is to make smaller and smaller photonic devices for use in fiber optics and integrated circuits. It's pretty advanced (just started research, a lot of it is over my head), but then so is a lot of the other stuff you mentioned.
  5. Nov 29, 2007 #4
    Hmm, thanks.
  6. Nov 30, 2007 #5
    maverick - Diving into a research project on your own without guidance as an undergraduate seems unlikely to be successful. Why don't you approach faculty about working with them?

    If you're interested in Quantum Computing, get and read Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Nielsen and Chuang. It is a self-contained text that goes from the intro to the research level, and includes open research questions. Of course, who knows how many have been solved since then? Perusing the arXiv would be a complementary approach, but how do you know when a non-peer reviewed article is by a quack? I think you want to work on a research project with someone with experience.
  7. Dec 1, 2007 #6
    I'm not sure what you are asking.
    Are you trying to do your own research? As in not with an REU program or with one of your professors?
    If so I would like to try and dissuade you from doing so.
    If not, then I'm not sure how much help we can be. If you are going to work in an REU program or under one of your professors then the topic may not be up to you to come up with
  8. Dec 1, 2007 #7
    No, I have to apply to an REU programme and work under a professor indeed, but I need to specify the topic I am interested in working in (such as the problem) and the professor is assigned to me by some committee. And yes, I have been talking to many professors but they are not very clear about the prospects of a ug project topic..at this stage. So I have to figure out a topic all by myself, and then apply to the programme...should I be selected, I will be assigned to a prof automatically. As for Nelson and Chuang/arxiv, I have been reading them for some time. But coming up with a problem that can be worked on, in any field, is hard.
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