Author - Maxim Nikolaevich
Post-Graduate Student, Department of Statistical Physics,
St. Petersburg State University

Each graduate faces the difficult task of choosing his future path - the future
of the university and the specialty. Of course, there is a standard set of promoted
professions: lawyers, managers, economists, programmers.

However, if you want to
engage in creative work and at the same time still understand how the world works,
then the best choice is Fizfak SPbU. After all, the 21st century is the age of
technology, and behind technology there is physics!

In 2005 I made a choice in favor of the Faculty of Physics, which I don’t regret.
I graduated from undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the Faculty of
Physical Education and am currently a graduate student in the department of
statistical physics.

Let me explain why I made this choice: Statistical physics
is one of the largest sections of theoretical physics devoted to the study of
systems with a large (and often infinite or uncountable) number of degrees of
freedom.

There is no need to go far for examples of such systems, they surround
us in everyday life - it is gas, liquid, solid body, plasma, etc. The relative
availability of these objects for study and experiment, in contrast, for
example, to particle accelerators, ensured the successful development of the
theory in this field of physics.

However, despite this, many important problems
of statistical physics are still unsolved: the consistent microscopic statistical
theory of a fluid has not yet been constructed, the mechanisms of high-temperature
superconductivity are unknown, there is no model for describing statistics of
turbulent flow, and so on. All these questions and theories are waiting for new
ideas and their creators!

In the age of new technologies, it is very important that the tasks you are
engaged in are not only interesting for you, but also relevant, that is, in
the future they find practical application.

Over the solution of such applied
problems in Russia and in the West work whole institutes and laboratories,
which are often financially and technically supported by large corporations.

For example, today the possibility of constructing quantum computers is
being actively investigated, the study of various structures of nano-dimensions
is under way, nanoelectronics is developing.

But the solution of such problems
is unthinkable without the use of the apparatus of statistical physics!

Interestingly, the methods of statistical physics have also found application
in fields of knowledge that seem to be very far from it: economics, finance,
biology, etc.

This is explained by the complexity of the systems studied in
statistical physics, which makes it possible to draw analogies and successfully
apply already known and developed mathematical methods and models.

Statistical physics, like no other branch of physics, is a multidisciplinary
field. This means that in solving problems you will not have enough knowledge
of any one subject, say, probability theory and mathematical statistics. For
example, when describing a plasma, it is necessary to use the equations of
electrodynamics, and when describing a solid, quantum effects play an important
role.

Therefore, our department reads many courses that use methods from various
sections of theoretical physics, which helps to significantly expand the horizon
of students.

Our department is actively developing the following areas: the application of
quantum field theory methods to problems of statistical physics, the theory
of first-order phase transitions, the theory of electronic properties with
reduced dimension, wave scattering, and liquid crystals.

In addition, the
department has close contacts with the Institute of High Molecular Compounds
of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where various problems related to
polymers are investigated.

Work at the department usually begins after
the second course, when the distribution takes place in the departments.
However, it is welcome if students become interested in tasks and get
involved in work as early as possible.

Students of our department often
go to numerous conferences and schools devoted to statistical physics,
are attracted to work on grants. For example, I participated in two grants
of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, and also attended schools in
the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Sweden), Utrecht University
(Netherlands), the International School of Physics “Enrico Fermi” (Italy)
and JINR (Dubna).

Many students after receiving a master's degree continue
their education in graduate school. Having chosen the Physics Department of
St. Petersburg State University, you can be confident in the quality of your
education, successfully apply this knowledge and realize yourself both
in science and in other fields.

P.S.

Of course, physical education is not only learning, but also the atmosphere,
traditions, friends. Even those who graduated from it and left to work or
study somewhere far always tend to return, at least for Physics Day, and
this says a lot.

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