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What are the big names in high-energy physics?

  1. Dec 8, 2007 #1
    I've been frustrated trying to figure out which universities have strong HEP programs, so I thought I'd ask for people's opinions here. I'll be graduating this spring and am trying to decide where to apply next fall. I find that most physics departments' websites are not very helpful. Some will state that they have a high-energy research focus but don't get into much detail about the specific experiments they collaborate on. Others will just have links to CERN or Fermilab, but again, don't really specify their involvement. Even a well-known school like MIT has only the word "Forthcoming" for the description of their HEP experimental program.

    Rankings that come from things like U.S. News and World Report aren't always meaningful, especially since they usually rate the physics department as a whole and not specific programs within.

    Unfortunately, I'm from a smaller liberal arts school and we don't have any faculty working on HEP, so I can't ask them what the big names in the field are. I'm hoping someone here has a better acquaintance with the field than I do, and could offer some advice. I don't know specifically what kind of topics I'd like to research within HEP, so I'm trying to find programs that have strong funding and do a wide variety of work, hopefully with collaborations at CERN because I'd love to visit Switzerland some day :wink:.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Recommendations? I've got a 3.9 GPA, 780 Physics / 580 V / 790 Q GRE, and about two years of research experience (not in HEP). I'd like to take a shot at one or two of the top schools but also find some schools that have good programs but that I have a better chance of getting in to (compared to something Ivy League, for example).

    (For the record, I have done quite a bit of looking around on the web myself, and have a general idea of some places I'd like to apply, I'm just curious to get second opinions. So none of that "Go find out yourself!" attitude :tongue: )

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
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