Possible Topics for Papers/Talks

Possible Topics for Papers/Talks

Searching for topics and references

Medium papers suggestions
  Note: only person per topic; use sentence outline.

These topics are the same as for the talks, but the audiences are different:

medium paper -- non-technical peers
7/20 minute talk -- classmates in 596

For short talk, use a recent scientific idea or discovery as springboard for limiting talk topic. Generally the more concrete and experimental, the better.

For medium paper and talk, the topic must contain both an idea that can be explained to a non-technical audience and enough hard, new science to be interesting to physics majors.

For non-technical audience, imagine a parent, a high-school friend or a (sports) team-mate. Such a person would be willing to read a few pages you have written. At the same time, you want them to find something to carry away. The ideal reaction would be

"Wow! I'd heard of the topic, but never thought it could be so simply explained. Thanks."

For your class mates, you want to convey an intriquing new-to-them idea so clearly, they instinctly ask questions about either the science or a possible application.

Possible sources

From Science, What we don't know: 125 top question
In a more lighthearted vein: NY Times 2005 Ideas

Here are some recent new "physics ideas" in the last few years

  1. Physics News Update
  2. Physical Review Focus
  3. Physics Success Stories
Alternately, looking at what now counts as a great discovery over a longer time span might stimulate you with respect to recent ideas. At the same time, keep in mind that man has trouble adjusting and using new ideas and technology.

Long -- public policy -- paper suggestions

One person per topic
Note: Produce a sentence outline before writing and discuss it with instructors.

Here are some broad areas. Online references are helpful. But don't forget books in the library or any college/university library in the State. While interlibrary loans come quickly (few days), you still should start early gathering references.