There are no academic positions in theoretical physics offered to master graduates worldwide based on my personal experience.

First, when I was still a master student in physics, a professor in theoretical high-energy physics in my department told me the faculty is never given funds to employ master graduates to do research in theoretical physics, so all he can do to help his master students needing time to prepare for applying for foreign PhD programs is postponing their graduation so that they can hold the part-time assistant positions associated with his research project while making the preparation.

Despite hearing about that, I still didn’t quite believe the fact that there are absolutely not academic positions in theoretical physics offered to master graduates, so after graduation I made an exhaustive search for them in my country, but have never seen even a single such position. The positions of the kind closest to the theoretical physics I’ve seen are those having virtual contact with others’ experiments, which usually require computer programming to simulate or analyze experimental data though there is no need to actually operate experimental apparatuses; these for me are counted as experimental physics as well.

Then I finally accepted the fact that a master graduate in theoretical physics seems to be only able to submit to either landing on a position not closely related to his master studies or staying without position if they can’t pursue a PhD immediately. Either way is not ideal for those who are dedicated to studies of theoretical physics seriously in the hope of taking it as their professional career. To my frustration, I often wonder the purpose of conferring the intermediate degree master in theoretical physics between bachelor and PhD since there is no associated position offered at all.

However, recently I have new discoveries. First, when I checked the CV of an assistant professor in theoretical physics having PhD position opening, I surprisingly found he had a stay of one year in a research institute for theoretical physics in Turkey between his MSc and PhD studies. Second, I found there were open research-associate positions in theoretical physics regarding gravity and cosmology in a university in England, with the requirement of the applicants being those who have a PhD degree in theoretical physics or those who have an equivalent level of professional qualifications and experience (will be given a lower salary than the PhD holder). Third, I heard on web that university lectureship and non-tenured assistant professorship in theoretical physics and math in India only require master degree. Then I recall one of my collaborators (a master student senior than me) during my MSc studies coming from Malaysia was given a university lecturer position, which was, nonetheless, in math rather than theoretical physics, when she came back to her country before pursuing PhD. However, I know she majored in math in her bachelor studies—this probably contributes a factor to her being able to get a position in math though she majored in physics in MSc.

Thus I wonder how common academic positions in theoretical physics are offered to master graduates worldwide. Are such offers commoner than I consider or such positions I heard in Turkey and India as above are just few exceptions. If theoretical physics positions for master graduates are not so common worldwide, how can the aforementioned research associate positions in England expect to find applicants with an equivalent level of professional qualifications and experience as that of PhD? If there are not associated research positions offered to them, where do they get an equivalent level of professional qualifications and experience? Can they study and make publications at their own home and write these on CV as experience? I doubt. Only given positions can be counted as professional qualifications and experience, right?

When I was an undergrad, a physics problem is difficult mainly because of the phenomenon. Now I am a grad student majored in Theoretical Physics, most of the problems I have to solve are difficult because of the mathematics. I start realizing I have many holes in my mathematical background. For example, I don’t know how to use the trick to calculate the derivative of the integral like this one:
https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/37656/how-to-calculate-the-derivative-of-this-integral
I don’t know Leibniz integral rule, etc …
What are the good mathematical books for theoretical physicists?
Thanks

I studied physics for my undergraduate and master’s and I’ve been offered a position in the computing department for my PhD in the UK. The topic is quantum information (hence, the overlap with computing does make sense) and there is no coursework. I’m very happy with the offer and my supervisor. The only problem is that I am a bit nervous about being in the “wrong” department, given my background.

I see myself as a physics student and I can’t really picture calling myself a computer scientist. I’m much more comfortable talking about, say, condensed matter than algorithms and data structures. I’m more interested and would probably get more out of a physics department talk than a CS talk.

Should I request a change of department but with the same supervisor before I begin? Alternatively, could I just hang around more at the physics department instead and not care about the official affiliation? Or is this a non-issue that I’m needlessly worried about? In case it matters, my funding is from a university level scholarship, not a departmental one.

Related but different question: Problem of mentioning the department affiliated with PhD degrees

A capacitor is charged by connecting it to a cell of potential V. Now after disconnecting the battery, the capacitor is connected to another cell of potential 2V. The new charge on the capacitor remains same as earlier, doubles at first or halves at first.
Also, What happens if after the initial charging, the capacitor is connected to a new cell of potential V/2 ?

As a freshman, I NP a physics for engineers class on purpose because I wanted to switch to the physics major, and if I finished that class I would have been unable to take the first two classes in the physics for physicists series(I attempted to late drop after realizing that I want to pursue physics, but that petition was rejected, so I had to NP the class).

I technically could have substituted the physics for engineers series with the physics for physicists series, but the physics for engineers series was quite bad in that it incorporated a flipped classroom technique(which I find unhelpful), and it was also less in depth and moved at a quicker pace. As a result, I wanted to start the physics for physicists series from scratch. In this case, would my NP in a physics class hinder my grad school application if I did well in the physics for physicist series after changing majors?

This is a physics education research (PER) question. Interpreted properly, it is NOT an opinion-based question!

I am a physics grad student and several of my professors have stated that they are against the idea of posting answer keys (i.e., worked solutions) for homework and/or tests (after the assignment has been completed by the student, of course). Their argument is that having an “answer cheat sheet” discourages the student from thinking critically about the problem and presents the opportunity for students to feel like they understand how to solve a problem without actually going through the rigor themselves. In fact, the entire department apparently takes the same stance with regards to posting past qualifying exams online: they post the past exams to use for studying, but not answer keys.

My question: Does any published PER examine the pedagogical benefits and downsides of posting answer keys/worked solutions for students? I tried searching for this online, but had little success finding anything. If anyone could point me toward legitimate research on this topic, I’d appreciate it.

I should add that I was a high school physics teacher for two years, and within that arena it seemed unanimously accepted that making solutions and answer keys available was the right educational strategy. Hence my skepticism of my professors’/department’s rationale. But I’m willing to see what the research says!

My answer is something along these lines, does this sound alright?

I don’t have some child-hood story and I haven’t always dreamt to study astrophysics. I’ve enjoyed my academia alot and feel as though I have more to offer as an independent researcher, I have always wanted to do a PhD- I did my final project undergraduate in general relativity and I was grateful to finish on the studying the most beautiful theory I had seen, beforehand I knew very little about general relativity. The current cosmological constant model being based on general relativity, I realised perhaps I could study astrophysics or cosmology. I’ve since been very excited about this and there can be no field more exciting than addressing the fundamental questions that have fascinated mankind for years and researching phenomena occurring light years, astronomical observations continually discover new situations, as a result of revolutionary techniques. To increase my background knowledge and hope of pursuing a PhD in astrophysics, and after very much enjoying general relativity, I have chosen to do my masters level research project in modified theories of gravity and cosmology.

How can I get a Physics Professor to do an internship with? I have a degree in Accounting but I want to switch to Physics. I applied for a second bachelor’s at an American community college but was denied a visa. Though I’ve been doing a lot of self study I think I’d benefit more from a professional guide. I wrote to a few professors whose books I’ve used but I didn’t get any reply. I know they must be very busy. I would love recommendations from this forum. Thanks everyone

As a physics major in US, my PhD application is screwed up this year and neither did I found a decent job. So I’m thinking of applying for a two years master program in German, which provides more time in research (so that I have chance to collect better letters) while does not charge for tuition. Specifically I am interested in the program at Technical University of Munich and Ludwig Maximilian U, in area of theoretical/computational condensed matter physics and possibly computational material science. However I’m wondering does a master degree bring any negative effect in my future application for PhD in US? I heard people mentioned that US schools don’t like master students quite much and see it as an incompetence somehow. So in general, is German a good destination? What are some other pros and cons you might already know? Thanks.

My dissertation was basically a literature review of sean caroll lecture notes on general relativity.

I got a first in this, and got offered phd interviews with the supervisors being aware of this so it must suffice? but i’m unsure how you explain the motives and conclusion of such a piece of work, which is a common interview question, when by doing a literature review I have pretty much, almost, produced my own set of lecture notes.

and this is a common question in interviews that throws me.

any advice?

thanks alot.