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How to Choose Department. Part 3

Campus + Russian Railways Bologna Process
Life of students in SPBSU Impression of Geman professor on our Campus
How to choose a departmen 2 How to choose a departmen 3 How to choose a departmen 1 How I tried to confirm that I was a SPBSU student

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!

SPbSU Faculty of Physics building in Peterhof
SPbSU Faculty of Physics building in Peterhof

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.


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.

Read First Part

More Articles:

Campus + Russian Railways Bologna Process
Life of students in SPBSU Impression of Geman professor on our Campus
How to choose a departmen 2 How to choose a departmen 3 How to choose a departmen 1 How I tried to confirm that I was a SPBSU student

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