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Flip Tanedo | USLHC | USA

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PhD Candidate, at last

Hello everyone! The past few weeks I’ve been completely tied up preparing for my PhD candidacy exams and didn’t have the chance to contribute anything here at the US LHC blog. Well, as of last Tuesday I am officially a PhD candidate… which doesn’t really change much, but it means that my department ‘officially’ acknowledges that I’m on track for a doctorate degree some time in the future.

There are a few milestones in one’s PhD (this can vary by institution), the big three are (1) qualifying, (2) candidacy, and (3) thesis defense. The first step is usually based on coursework to show that one has mastered undergraduate material. The candidacy exam is meant to signify the ‘official’ transition from advanced coursework to research, though most students will have already gotten their research up and running. The thesis defense is a Q&A with your thesis committee before they sign off on your dissertation. That last step is still a couple of years away for me. 🙂

My qualifying candidacy exam was composed of three questions, each requiring a write up and an oral presentation. My three questions were based on (1) experiments to detect dark matter, (2) ‘particles’ called instantons, and (3) string theory-motivated constructions that lead to the “warped” 5D models that I’d been exploring recently. If there’s some interest from the blogosphere I might say a few words about these topics in future posts.

Here’s a nice image from one of my write ups that some of you might like (especially those who have been following along with our Feynman diagram posts):

This is a rather fancy looking diagram describing a process in supersymmetric QCD where an instanton configuration generates the ADS term in the superpotential. Phew, that was a lot of words! For those with some more advanced background, this is a really fancy mass term for quarks in super-QCD.

Anyway, I look forward to writing up some new posts in the near future… as an official PhD candidate!

Flip, on behalf of US LHC blogs

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