How competitive is gravitational wave physics and relativity?

P2C2E
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:24 pm

How competitive is gravitational wave physics and relativity?

Postby P2C2E » Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:32 pm

Hey, I'm applying to schools that have some research background in Numerical relativity, Gravitational wave physics and relativistic astrophysics. I've mostly come across people aspiring for HEP-th or Condensed matter, and from the looks of it they seem to be pretty difficult to get in the top 10. I was wondering if anyone has any idea about gravitational wave studies, and whether they're as sought after.

My PGRE score is 850 (78%) and I'm Indian. It seems to be a bit of a handicap, though the rest of my test scores are great. My research isn't very stellar but it is specific and centers around neutron star physics and some cosmology. I was wondering if anyone who's done relativistic astro or gravity waves could help me out here.

thehairupthere
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: How competitive is gravitational wave physics and relativity?

Postby thehairupthere » Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:17 pm

Well, if you're thinking of going to Caltech, that's always gonna be tough, whatever your scores or experiences are. You should definitely go ahead and apply, but what I would recommend is to also look at other labs at lesser ranked schools, such as Georgia Tech or UWisconsin-Miluwaukee -- they are still great labs, but are less-competitive than Caltech or MIT:

P2C2E
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:24 pm

Re: How competitive is gravitational wave physics and relativity?

Postby P2C2E » Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:25 am

Yeah, I'm aware of Georgia Tech and Milwaukee and have shortlisted them for applying. My profile is on the 2016 applicants thread

I wanted something like a general impression of how many people typically pursue this as a research option, compared to HEP-th and condensed matter. The level of competition would probably vary sharply across specializations, so if anyone can provide some more info, that'd be useful.

adamyos
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:43 am

Re: How competitive is gravitational wave physics and relativity?

Postby adamyos » Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:01 am

Gravitational waves and numerical relativity is a growing field and applications to each of these fields are on the rise. It doesn't seem extremely competitive (like HEP etc.) but, is fairly competitive. With your profile, you do stand a fine chance. But, I'd suggest keeping those safe schools in which you are very very sure to get into.
Your GRE is good. Don't let it bother you too much. But, yes, do think twice before spending money on applying to places like MIT, CalTech and the "Ivy Leagues" etc., as their GRE cut-offs and standards are usually quite high. There are other universities as well where good work in GW and numerical relativity is being done. Do look them up and choose accordingly.




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