08/09 Part III course to shake things up a bit…
Speaking of Part III, the CASM webpage recently let slip a preliminary copy of the 08/09 lecture list. They’ve since taken it down (boo), but it appears that next year will shake up the physics curriculum a bit. This is exciting since Cambridge is a place where the characteristic time scale for “change” is measured in centuries.
All the information here is very unofficial and is subject to modification.
Sabbaticals and faculty shuffling have changed many of the HEP/GR course lecturers, landing a “student favourite” teaching super-strings in Lent. This, in turn, necessitates a new introductory SUSY course in Michaelmas. This will be tricky since students will concurrently be taking their first courses in QFT and group theory and will not have the benefit of the Standard Model course in Lent.
By the way, the Standard Model course will still be at 9am. I know many Part III HEP students fancy themselves mathematicians disguised as physicists, but come on people: the LHC is turning on, and you really should know a thing or two about ‘real’ particle physics… even if you do intend to “only” work on super-stringy-twistor-non-perburbative-F-theory-inflation… or something like that.
Also unavailable in ’09 will be “Applications of Differential Geometry to Physics” course. These also weren’t offered when I took Part III (much to my disappointment), but the topics are fantastic and very much capture the spirit of the department. Instead, however, students can look forward to some nice Easter term courses including twistor theory, solitons/instantons, and quantum cosmology. A public service announcement: students shouldn’t be afraid to take Easter term courses for examination. Update (22 June 08): Apparently “Applications of Differential Geometry…” will be offered, much to the benefit of next year’s students.
Anyway, next year promises to mix things up for the Part III physicists. Unfortunately this means that past papers won’t be as helpful when preparing for exams, but the lecture list looks promising. I can only hope that the lecturers (and a few enterprising students… Steffen…) continue to make their notes available online.
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