MIT vs Stanford in Condensed Matter Theory

xavilepe
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MIT vs Stanford in Condensed Matter Theory

Postby xavilepe » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:35 am

Hi, I would like to do graduate work in condensed matter theory, but I am also interested in quantum information science. I am attracted to analytical models development rather than materials simulations (I don't like programming). Hence my priorities are:

1.-To acquire a strong knowledge base in quantum field theory and quantum many body problems. My potential interests include strongly correlated electron systems, high Tc superconductivity, quantum hall effect and mesoscopic physics, cooperative phenomena, quantum transport and solid state quantum computing.

2.- To learn from the groundbreaking theorists in these fields.

Which PhD program is better for me? Which one is better to get good jobs both in academia and research institutes (IBM Research, Bell Labs, etc) within the US?

Any kind of feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time

fastones3
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:02 am

Re: MIT vs Stanford in Condensed Matter Theory

Postby fastones3 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:06 pm

Not that this is much of a surprise to you, but you can't go wrong going to either one of those. I'm pretty familiar with Stanford's CM theorists and I'm sure you'll get a top notch education there with decent career prospects. I don't know too much about MIT's CMT reputation, but I imagine it's also pretty good.

Since the two are so similar, my deciding factor would be all the other stuff, like west coast vs. east coast, etc, and that's for you to decide.

Juston
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:15 pm

Re: MIT vs Stanford in Condensed Matter Theory

Postby Juston » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:13 pm

I heard that Bell Labs is no longer doing fundamental research in physics.

Edit: http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/08/bell-labs-kills.html
Last edited by Juston on Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Juston
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Re: MIT vs Stanford in Condensed Matter Theory

Postby Juston » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:18 pm

I don't know much about MIT and Stanford, but given your interests, you may also want to try UCSB (assuming you haven't applied to schools already). In particular, Anthony Zee comes to mind, as he does work in the applications of quantum field theory to condensed matter physics.

If you're also interested in where ideas from particle physics can take you in condensed matter physics, you can take a look at Princeton. There, Christopher Herzog is working on applications of the gauge/gravity duality in studying high temperature superconductors!

In any case, I'd recommend looking at the research profiles of the condensed matter faculty members of the schools you applied to, and see which one best fits your research interests. If there's a faculty member who you want to work with, you should contact them and ask them about their research and whether they can take on new grad students.

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zxcv
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Re: MIT vs Stanford in Condensed Matter Theory

Postby zxcv » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:12 pm

Get in. Then decide.

But seriously, how did you identify those schools? Obvious there are other schools with strong programs in those areas (e.g. Berkeley :D). Also Stanford last time I checked had nobody doing quantum information theory.

jsd
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Re: MIT vs Stanford in Condensed Matter Theory

Postby jsd » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:01 am

Stanford does have people doing quantum information, they're just in the applied physics department and a bit more on the experimental side.

fastones3
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Re: MIT vs Stanford in Condensed Matter Theory

Postby fastones3 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:47 pm

Stanford does have some QI guys, but they are almost all in Applied Physics. It doesn't make a difference though, Physics students have access to any AP faculty, so it's a moot point. Hideo Mabuchi comes to mind as one QI guy of interest.

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zxcv
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Re: MIT vs Stanford in Condensed Matter Theory

Postby zxcv » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:15 pm

Yes, Stanford has people doing quantum information in the Applied Physics department, but experimentalist are not doing quantum information theory. They may be doing some theory work, too, but the impression I got when looking into applying last year was that that was not their focus.




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