HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

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mirage
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HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby mirage » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:33 pm

I'm looking to apply to physics departments that have the best combination of research in theoretical particle physics, mathematical physics, and gravitational physics (also theoretical) - or at least the first two out of these three. I'm especially looking for ones that have particle physics faculty with joint math department appointments and/or that allow grad students to pursue research in both departments (i.e. with one advisor in phys, the other in math).
What are the opinions and suggestions out there?

nowhereguy
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby nowhereguy » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:00 pm

mirage wrote:I'm looking to apply to physics departments that have the best combination of research in theoretical particle physics, mathematical physics, and gravitational physics (also theoretical) - or at least the first two out of these three. I'm especially looking for ones that have particle physics faculty with joint math department appointments and/or that allow grad students to pursue research in both departments (i.e. with one advisor in phys, the other in math).
What are the opinions and suggestions out there?


Depends, do you have any idea of what topic you would like to do? I could give you a better answer if you tell me that ;)

mirage
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby mirage » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:35 pm

nowhereguy wrote:Depends, do you have any idea of what topic you would like to do? I could give you a better answer if you tell me that ;)


I don't have a very specific topic in mind yet, but broadly I'm interested in the interface between rigorous topology & geometry and string theory/quantum gravity.

nowhereguy
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby nowhereguy » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:48 pm

mirage wrote:
nowhereguy wrote:Depends, do you have any idea of what topic you would like to do? I could give you a better answer if you tell me that ;)


I don't have a very specific topic in mind yet, but broadly I'm interested in the interface between rigorous topology & geometry and string theory/quantum gravity.


Hmmm, OK. Then, the places you should aim for are Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley and Santa Barbara. For what you say, those are definitely the top places. Of course there are other schools that have very good people doing mathematical physics oriented towards topology and geometry/string theory (e.g. off the top of my head, UPenn has a couple very good people doing that, Washington too), but those 4 are the top, I would say. I am too lazy to try and remember other people/schools good at it, sorry ;)

EDIT: Forgot a school in the top places list: Stony Brook. Now that they will have the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, they will be up there with Harvard and such.
Last edited by nowhereguy on Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

doom
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby doom » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:53 pm

If I remember from my research correctly, University of Wisconsin has several people with crossover between string theory and math. Wisconsin HEP theory pretty much consists of string theorists and phenomenologists, with nothing in between, but I think it's a good program if you're interested in either of those two subfields. I'm more interested in non-stringy model building, so I ended up not applying there.

Check Michigan, too, but I'm not so sure about them.

They are lower ranked than the schools suggested above, but still very good, and probably easier to get into.

Don't know anything about gravity.

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dlenmn
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby dlenmn » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:00 pm

doom wrote:Don't know anything about gravity.


It makes things fall if you don't believe in god. Glad I could help.

doom
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby doom » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:51 am

lol, thanks for that help.

Actually, it makes things fall irrespective of whether you believe in God. ;) As I do.

mirage
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby mirage » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:49 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions! It's interesting - I had no idea that UCSB was particularly good in these areas, but I've looked up the department and will probably apply now (I already knew about Harvard & Princeton).
How would you assess MIT, Stanford, UCLA, Columbia, NYU, Brown, and Penn in these areas?

nowhereguy
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby nowhereguy » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:22 pm

mirage wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions! It's interesting - I had no idea that UCSB was particularly good in these areas, but I've looked up the department and will probably apply now (I already knew about Harvard & Princeton).
How would you assess MIT, Stanford, UCLA, Columbia, NYU, Brown, and Penn in these areas?


If you want to do what you said before, i.e. the mathematical side of string theory, don't bother applying to those schools, except Penn. Now, if you want to do string theory in a broader sense, all of them are very good, except NYU and Columbia.

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will
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby will » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:30 pm

I find it hard to believe that Columbia isn't any good at string theory, what with Brian Greene being there and all.

nowhereguy
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby nowhereguy » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:37 pm

will wrote:I find it hard to believe that Columbia isn't any good at string theory, what with Brian Greene being there and all.


Brian Greene is a very good scientist, but he is not very productive nowadays, he is more focused on writing general audience books and organizing conferences. That, of course, is not bad, just not ideal if he were to be your supervisor. Columbia might be good for string cosmology, actually, but that is it. The other places he mentioned are, as I said, far better for string theory in a "broader sense".

mirage
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby mirage » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:36 pm

Why not NYU? Not much string theory in general or is it mathematical string theory that is missing?
By the way, is it worthwhile applying to any universities outside the U.S. - in particular Cambridge or the Perimeter Institute?

nowhereguy
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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics

Postby nowhereguy » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:48 pm

mirage wrote:Why not NYU? Not much string theory in general or is it mathematical string theory that is missing?
By the way, is it worthwhile applying to any universities outside the U.S. - in particular Cambridge or the Perimeter Institute?


Not much string theory in general at NYU. Cambridge and PI are both really good, so, yeah, it is worthwhile.




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