Switching research interest area, but feeling clueless

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Switching research interest area, but feeling clueless

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:19 pm

Hey everyone,
I am new to this forum and hoping to get some advice on applying to graduate school/ research areas.

I know that I enjoy physics and I enjoy research. My past research experiences have been in high energy theory and I worked on two different projects, and loved them! These experiences motivated me to pursue graduate studies in physics.

I graduated from undergrad and I am unwillingly taking a year off. I did not do so well on the physicsgre last year and did not have positive results with admissions. I took the physicsgre again, this past September, and I am hoping that my scores are better. Before studying for physics gres/taking them, I sort of gave up on physics for a while. I explored/looked for jobs other areas ( from administrative assistant positions to banking to quality assurance engineer). In the end, I am back to physics. Currently, I am still looking for jobs, but I am also auditing a QFT course at a nearby University. I love QFT!

I emailed professors during the summer, once I started studying for physics gres again, to look for possible research positions, but was not very successful. I understand of course, professors are busy! The positions I was looking for were in experimental physics ( various areas) and I was hoping to volunteer in the labs.

I love high energy theory, but I also want to get experimental physics skills and expand my research horizon. I feel like I am rambling, but I am wondering this:

If you are graduate student, how have you transitioned from one research area to the other? Especially, if you lacked the background?


Is any body going through something similar?

I have been reading about research areas in experimental physics and tried to read through various papers on arxiv, though it's certainly not the same as having experimental background. I probably should have had experimental research experience during undergrad, but was not very successful in obtaining them. Once I started theory, though, I loved it!

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Switching research interest area, but feeling clueless

Postby Catria » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:31 pm

Are you sure HEP-EX isn't for you?

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Switching research interest area, but feeling clueless

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:58 pm

I was actually interested in HEP-EX before theory, but I don't have research experience in that from undergrad. The profs I emailed during the summer were also doing work in HEP-EX.

I am interested in exploring HEP-EX as well as Condensed Matter experiments (maybe theory too?)!

Unless if you meant HEP-TH? I really did enjoy working on my projects and working with my respective advisors, not sure if I want to continue with it anymore.




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