I am currently an undergraduate math major and have hopes of attending graduate school in applied math. I also have a love for physics and thinking of minoring in physics. After some research, I found that many departments have professors in the research area of mathematical physics. Is having a minor in physics a good background to pursue research at the graduate level in mathematical physics?

I am a student and I will hopefully start preparation for my A-level examinations this June. Unlike most students in Bangladesh, I plan to build my future based on Quantum Physics and thus have not received sufficient advise on what to do.

Edexcel offers many subjects for A-levels but I am unsure which ones do I need.
So far I am sure that I need:

  • Chemistry (All 5 units)
  • Physics (All 5 units)
  • Core Mathematics (All 4 papers)
  • Further Pure Mathematics (All 3 papers)
  • Mechanics (All 3 papers)

Generally students take 4 subjects and ignore some units or papers but to have a good preparation for what is coming ahead, I have planned to take 5 subjects and not miss out on any unit or paper. However I am unsure whether I need statistics or not. I have understood it plays an important part in Quantum Physics (Feynman diagrams for one) but am unsure if it is really that important or not (3 more papers).

Recently, my grandfather’s school friend came to visit. Despite being a geologist, he had sound knowledge of Quantum Physics (But not of the education system). He advised me to not drop Biology for my O-levels as it will play an important part in the ‘Theory of Everything’. I did decide to appear for Biology in my O-levels but should I also take it for my A-level examinations? (5 more units)

P.S. Each unit requires one paper so I may have to give 28 papers (generally people give 11 papers). If you want to learn more about A-levels click here.

This may seem like personal advice but it will actually help many more students out in the world who plan to make a career out of Quantum Physics. Any help would be appreciated!

I’m currently in my last year for my honours program in physics and have just applied to grad school. Lately, I’ve had things happen outside of school that are affecting my performance and have been thinking of dropping the honours courses and changing my grad application to a major in physics (note I’m only dropping the honours courses but am still finishing my honours thesis). Would this decision affect my chances of getting accepted into grad school? I’d only be 2-3 courses shy of having the required courses done for honours, but the actual “honours” title wouldn’t be on my application, just the thesis portion.

I am writing here in hopes of obtaining good recommendations. I obtained a BSc in honors astrophysics in 2016 and after a lot of soul searching, came to realize that my real passion lies in the philosophical foundations of physics. My plan is to obtain a Masters in the philosophy of physics before moving on to a PhD in the theoretical foundations of physics. I already applied to the MSt program offered by Oxford and have two more choices I am currently applying for as well, but I have been told that I should apply to ~6-7 universities to be on the safe side.

These are the programs I am applying to so far:

  • MSt in Philosophy of Physics, Oxford University
  • MA in Philosophy of Physics, University of Bristol
  • MA in Logic and Philosophy of Science, Ludwig-Maximillian Universitat

I would very much appreciate it if somebody here could point me to similar programs. Because my end-goal is to go into theoretical physics proper, I am looking for a Masters program with a strong emphasis on the mathematical foundations of physics. This means that I am considering programs that don’t have the words “philosophy of physics” explicitly in their title provided that the faculty is strong enough in mathematics or physics. I am particularly enthused by the “mathematical philosophy” approach of the group at LMU and would like to learn about similar programs.

I am not interested in applying to institutions in the U.S, so I am placing most of my emphasis in UK, German, or other European institutions. Thanks a lot for your help!

I am passionate about studying chemical physics and I would like to go to a university that has strong courses because I would like to have solid understanding. I would also like to do research with good professors. All the websites that have rankings only rank by subjects such as chemistry or physics but I cant find a place that ranks “chemical physics”. I have looked up the ranking of physics and chemistry for Ohio state since the chemical physics program is a collaboration between both departments but I am not sure if this enough. I would also like to know how Ohio state in chemical physics compares to other places with the same program.

I am interested in other academics’ experiences with large experiments (especially something like the LHC). To what extent do the “engineers” who design and build the machine (solder electronics, assemble quadrupole magnets, etc) interact with “scientists” who determine the program (who might want to test their 11-dimensional model etc)? Do the two sides take an active interest in each other’s work and give constructive suggestions to one another? Are the technicians all hired locally? How many in the “engineering” camp have PhDs?

(It’s also possible to label the two groups “experimentalists” vs “theorists”, though for the former I really mean people involved in the construction and day-to-day operations – I’m not interested in semantics here)

While the Higgs was at a sigma of ~4, I heard that postdocs and PhD students at CERN could volunteer for maintenance and similar tasks, and that those who did would have their names on the “Higgs paper” (hence the notoriously large author lists). Was this true and is it still the case?