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Mike Anderson | USLHC | USA

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Relationships in Physics Graduate School

backlight-weddingDoing a quick poll of graduate students in our department showed the following:

  • Atomic Physics: 5/10 grad students are married (2 of those have kids)
  • Particle Physics (CMS group): 1/10 grad students are married (none of those have kids)

Most likely, this difference is because “Atomic” physics involves small, table-top experiments, while “Particle” physics involves large experiments located on another continent.

This leads to other differences as well: 3 1.5/10 Particle physics grads above are in long-term, long-distance relationships (they live at CERN), meanwhile, none of the grad students in Atomic physics are in a long-distance relationship (their experiments are conveniently located in the same city).

What is it like at your university, or your research group?  Is this just a statistical anomaly, or is there really far fewer married graduate students in particle physics than in other research areas?

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