Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics
Pavol Jozef Safarik University Faculty of Science
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Ph.D. program description
The Ph.D. program in Theoretical Physics covers the research of physical properties of solid-state systems, phase transitions and critical phenomena in diverse magnetic systems, theoretical investigation of skyrmions, ab initio study of electron structures of new functional materials, investigation of developed turbulence, percolation phenomena and chemical interactions, applications of statistical mechanics in geostatistics and data reconstruction. All of the above-mentioned subjects are studied using current methods of quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, computational physics, equilibrium, and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. The ongoing and past research projects and published results provide evidence of our know-how and its scientific relevance.
The students are involved in the research projects since the beginning of the study, actively contributing to the publication of the results in collaboration with members of the research team thus actively learning the art of excellent research. They work in a diverse research team of senior researchers, post-docs and other Ph.D. students. Students are encouraged to actively participate in international conferences, networking events and undertake part of the study abroad, for example, via the ERASMUS+ program.
How is the study organized?
The standard duration of the doctoral study in Theoretical physics is four years. Normally, submissions are due by June and the study commences in September.
The doctoral degree is based on coursework and research that leads to a dissertation. The coursework includes compulsory and selective compulsory courses. The compulsory courses are aimed at expanding the knowledge of the theory and methodology in theoretical physics and developing special skills required for the research work. The selective compulsory courses allow for the specialization of the student according to his or her thesis.
In the scientific part of the study, the student is guided by his or her supervisor to perform high-quality research work The successful finish of the doctoral study expects acquiring skills and scientific expertise to achieve original scientific results and publish them in peer-reviewed research journals. The student must publish at least two research papers in leading international peer-reviewed journals to successfully complete the study, thus confirming his/her ability to publish research results and lead a research team. Students will learn these skills in the process of supervision and communication with other colleagues at the Institute. Students meet with their supervisors on a regular basis and they are required to report their progress annually.
Both components of the study start since the first year of study and, typically, the study part is finished within the second year. By the end of the second year of the program, the student has to pass a written and oral state examination focusing on his research topic demonstrating the ability to conduct research independently. Writing the dissertation expects to detail the results of a substantial and original research project. The study ends with a public defense of the dissertation thesis, typically, in the fourth year of the study.
Ph.D. graduate profile
Graduates of the Ph.D. program in Theoretical Physics gain a broad command of mathematical apparatus and computational methods to solve the most complex problems in nature and space. The use of these methods, in conjunction with computer simulations, is not limited to physical systems, but it is also applicable in all areas of human activity which structure and properties can be very complex requiring high-level theoretical abstraction.
The Ph.D. graduate in Theoretical Physics is highly relevant on the job market in all public and private institutions performing advanced basic and applied research in physics, material science, engineering, geosciences, biology, computer and data science.