Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics – Field of study catalogue MU
Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics
The doctoral study programme of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics is aimed at graduates of the Master's study programme in Physics or related programmes, showing an exceptional interest in the field. Specifically, the studies are concentrated in a few fundamental areas of the fields of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics: in Theoretical Physics we offer research into two current topics, first of which concerns the theory of quantum gravity and the second focuses on the border between the quantum and the classical world. In Astrophysics the research is aimed at the physics of hot stars and star systems with hot components, in particular the physics of stellar atmospheres of hot stars and stellar wind driven by the radiation of chemically peculiar stars. Yet another traditional field of interest is research on variable stars, including the methodology and interpretation of observational data of various kinds.
The goal of the doctoral study programme in physics is to offer talented students the opportunity to continue their studies after having been awarded their Master's degree in a corresponding field. During the studies the student will become a member of a research team and will take part in regular research activities, and will be able to function as an independent research worker after graduating. The requirements for graduating are: one or more publications in reputable foreign journals, active participation in scientific conferences and workshops and a longer scientific stay at a foreign institution. This will guarantee the ability of the student to communicate with foreign collaborators in English and possibly in other languages. The goal is to educate students so that they are able to independently work at universities and institutes dealing with research and development in the Czech Republic and anywhere else in the world.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- independently and creatively develop solutions to difficult physical or astrophysical problems, starting with their formulation and solution, using appropriate mathematical techniques, to the interpretation of the results
- perform independent creative scientific work published in reputable scientific journals
- apply experience from long-term scientific internships at high quality scientific institutions
- activily use English or possibly some other language used in scientific communication
- solve problems outside their specialisation through a deep understanding of fundamental physics and using the basis of scientific thinking
- demonstrate the knowledge of the standards of established and respected scientific research
Graduates will find employment as teachers and researchers at universities and institutes of the Academy of Sciences, and as research and development staff at specialized research institutes and laboratories in the industry. They are also useful in unconventional areas, in managerial positions and in areas of public administration associated with education and research.
The standard duration of studies is four years. The course of studies is determined by an individual study plan of the student. The emphasis is on education towards independent scientific work and proper fulfilment of the tasks set by the subject of a dissertation.
The study plan also comprises other duties (specified further), including the total credit value.
The individual study plan is proposed by students and presented by their supervisors to the board for doctoral studies, who approve of the plan. The study plan is divided into academic years and semesters, and it contains all fundamental duties of the student, including time frame and credit values.
The recommended content of the study plan:
Doctoral studies are based on the student’s independent research and doctoral thesis defence. Doctoral studies are governed by an individual study plan, not only regarding time and organization, but also as far as the content determined by the specific orientation of the doctoral thesis is concerned. The importance of the study plan therefore lies in the proposal of a certain optimal timetable of the study within its standard length. Respecting the recommended study plan is solely the matter of agreement between the doctoral student and his/her supervisor, on condition that the requirements of the Study and Examination Regulations of Masaryk University are complied with.
Minimal credit value of the studies is 240 credits (30 credits per each semester, eight semesters in total). The credit value of selective and elective courses is as follows:
The student enrols in selective courses choosing one of the courses from the block of selective courses, relevant to the subject of the dissertation, as a rule. The courses labelled as recommended are optional. Choosing them is not mandatory. The enrolment to new semester courses is always subject to prior arrangement with the supervisor.
The final state doctoral examination complies with the Study and Examination Regulations of Masaryk University, clause 31 and 33.
The final state doctoral examination is oral and it lasts for not longer than two hours. The student is eligible to a 30-minute long preparation. Specifying tested issues and asking respective questions should be carried out by each member of the doctoral defence board. The examination comprises the broader scientific fundamentals and the specialized subjects. Sound knowledge of the current scientific results in the area of the subject of the doctoral thesis is also required. The student’s tested knowledge is to great extent determined by the studied programme.
Sets of questions, textbooks (or monographs) and articles from physics journals are discussed. Tested items are:
- In theoretical physics: a general overview (essential parts of the first five volumes of Landau and Lifšic’s course) and a sound knowledge in the field of the dissertation subject (for example: M. Peskin, D.V. Shroeder: An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory. Addison-Wesley, 1996 or M.O. Scully, M.S. Zubairy: Quantum Optics. Cambridge University Press, 1997).
- In astrophysics: a general overview covered in the textbook by B.W. Carroll, D.A. Ostlie: An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics. Addison-Wesley, 1996.