HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
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?
What are the opinions and suggestions out there?

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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
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 thatmirage 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?
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
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 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

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 Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:21 am
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
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, sorrymirage wrote: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 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
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.
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
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 nonstringy 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.
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.
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
It makes things fall if you don't believe in god. Glad I could help.doom wrote:Don't know anything about gravity.
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
lol, thanks for that help.
Actually, it makes things fall irrespective of whether you believe in God. As I do.
Actually, it makes things fall irrespective of whether you believe in God. As I do.
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
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?
How would you assess MIT, Stanford, UCLA, Columbia, NYU, Brown, and Penn in these areas?

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 Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:21 am
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
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.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?
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
I find it hard to believe that Columbia isn't any good at string theory, what with Brian Greene being there and all.

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Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
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".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.
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
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?
By the way, is it worthwhile applying to any universities outside the U.S.  in particular Cambridge or the Perimeter Institute?

 Posts: 39
 Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:21 am
Re: HEP groups with strong mathematical & gravitational physics
Not much string theory in general at NYU. Cambridge and PI are both really good, so, yeah, it is worthwhile.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?