A university with a research at the interference of theoretical spectroscopy and astrophysics?

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Barsik
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2021 9:57 am

A university with a research at the interference of theoretical spectroscopy and astrophysics?

Post by Barsik » Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:12 pm

I am applying to Ph.D. programs in Physics and Astrophysics but having a hard time finding a research area. My current research is in quantum mechanics/theoretical spectroscopy-i.e., I calculate intensities, frequencies of transitions of simple molecules. I want to connect this kind of research to astrophysical problems. I thought something like analyzing/obtaining(theoretically) spectra of celestial objects or tracing molecules in ISM could work. But for a long time I can't find a US university with anything close to this. For now, I have a vague idea that diffuse bands research exists, circumstellar disks or exo atmospheres.

Can someone advise a theme based on my scramble explanation or/and a US university that works at such problems?

ps I am familiar with the system (that you are not obligated to choose a topic when applying and hopefully will have an opportunity to try out some various projects before deciding on a topic), but it is necessary to have an idea of the area to apply to universities that have researches who work at such themes. +I am open to other research areas within most astrophysics departments
Last edited by Barsik on Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

occamsshaver12
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:52 pm

Re: A university with a research at the interference of theoretical spectroscopy and astrophysics?

Post by occamsshaver12 » Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:37 pm

I am not hundred percent sure, but I think when you are dealing with the spectra from observations, you deal with the theoretical models too. And from whatever I know of spectra, it is a tool to understand the Physics going on in a stellar object, so I am not surprised that not many people do that specifically. I guess you just have to accept the fact that professors don't think it is worth pursuing their research specifically making theoretical models (probably funding reasons) and try to find groups which work in areas which also involve theoretical models.

You wouldn't be alone in coming to that realization. A lot of graduate students join PhD program thinking they would like to work in a specific area, but then they realize they have to balance working in a viable research field and research which satisfies the reason they joined the program in the first place.

Barsik
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2021 9:57 am

Re: A university with a research at the interference of theoretical spectroscopy and astrophysics?

Post by Barsik » Thu Nov 04, 2021 8:55 am

I see. Thank you for your answer! I haven't thought about it before
That's alright, I was on the contrary concerned that I must have a research project ahead of being admitted to the Phd program



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