UNDERSTANDING THE LAWS OF NATURE FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP!
The track of theoretical physics is one of the four specialization tracks of the master’s degree programme in physical and chemical sciences. The other tracks of the programme are astronomy and space physics, materials chemistry, and materials physics.
The Theoretical Physics track introduces the student to the intriguing diversity of physical theories and gives means to understand the world. Topics from quantum physics to the theories of gravity are incorporated into the track. Problems of fundamental quantum physics, quantum information, quantum field theory and theoretical cosmology are at the heart of the studies in Theoretical Physics.
Upon graduation, you will be able to use the diverse set of skills acquired as part of this track, including theoretical and numerical techniques to produce and analyse new physical projects.
The structure is modular. All modules have 20 ECTS. Each specialisation track has two obligatory modules that contain the core material of the field. In addition, there is one thematic module that may be chosen from the other modules offered within this programme or other programmes at the University of Turku. The fourth module consists of freely chosen courses and an obligatory Finnish language and culture course (5 ECTS). An MSc thesis (30 ECTS) in addition to the seminar, internship, and project work (10 ECTS) are also required, details of which depend on the specialisation. See figure below.
Examples of different modules in different specialisations are:
You can replace possible project work by participating in a Capstone project (15 ECTS) organised by the Department of Future Technologies. We recommend this for those students who aim to work in the industry after graduation.
In the Theoretical physics module 1, you will learn the basic theories of physics by attending lectures and doing exercises in courses on quantum physics, statistical physics and quantum field theory. In the Theoretical physics module 2, you deepen your understanding and develop our skills in more specified topics of theoretical physics, such as fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum information and optics, quantum field theory and cosmology.
The Thematic module consists of courses offered by the department, mathematics etc. according to your will agreed with theoretical physics subject. Courses in relevant topics of mathematics, physics and astronomy are recommended. These studies can be used to form a minor. Possible minors are e.g. mathematics, physics, astronomy, and computer science.
In the Other studies module, you can choose any courses you want from the entire offering of the university in addition to the obligatory “Finnish for foreigners” course.
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE & EXPERIENCE
The aim of the Master’s education is to support you to become an independent expert who can evaluate information critically, plan and execute research projects to find new knowledge and to solve scientific and technological problems independently and as a part of a group.
In the University of Turku, the research in Theoretical physics has the emphasis on various fields at the forefront of European and international research such as quantum technologies, fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum information and optics, quantum field theory and cosmology. You will learn rigorous mathematical and numerical methods to model physical phenomena and solve physical problems with several possible interdisciplinary applications also outside physics. Examples are the studies of complex systems, data science, and machine learning.
MASTER'S THESIS & TOPICS
The Master’s degree programme includes a compulsory thesis component (30 ECTS), which corresponds to six months of full-time work. The thesis is to be written up as a report based on a combination of a literature review and an original research project that forms the bulk of the thesis.
The thesis is an independently made research project but the project will be carried out under the guidance of leading researchers in the field at the University of Turku. It is expected that the student will be embedded within an active research group or experimental team, thereby providing ample opportunity to discuss results and exchange ideas in a group setting.
The large variety of the recent thesis titles in theoretical physics includes
- Decoherence and dissipation of a quantum Brownian particle
- Non-Markovian dynamics and quantum information probes
- Non-Markovian dynamics of the spin-boson model
- Quantum Zeno- anti-Zeno transition to a dynamically decoupled system
- Quantum optical dephasing channels
- Superconductivity and superfluids
- Quantum field theory and particle production on curved space-time
- Time-loop formalism and the thermalisation of the neutrinos in the early universe
- The Boltzmann equations in cosmology
- Classical solutions of field theories
- Automorphisms and coexistence of quantum effects
- Convex operational theories and non-classical features of quantum theory
- Joint measurements and Bell inequalities
- A search algorithm for symmetric, informationally complete sets of positive operators
- Ontological models and contextuality
The Master’s Degree Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences has four tracks. A short description of each specialisation track is given below. You can find more detailed information of tracks from the specific site of each track in this portal (UTU Masters).
In Theoretical physics, you can specialise in various fields at the forefront of European and international research such as quantum technologies, fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum information and optics, quantum field theory and cosmology. You will learn rigorous mathematical and numerical methods to model physical phenomena and solve physical problems with several possible interdisciplinary applications also outside physics. Examples are the studies of complex systems, data science, and machine learning.
Students specialising in Astronomy and Space Physics can choose among three lines of studies: theoretical astrophysics, observational astronomy and space physics. You will acquire knowledge of various astrophysical phenomena and plasma physics, from Solar system to neutron stars and onto galaxies and cosmology. You will also get hands-on experience with observational techniques, space instrumentation, numerical methods and analysis of large datasets.
The studies of Materials Physics and Materials Chemistry give you an ability to understand and to develop the properties of materials from molecules and nanoparticles via metals, magnetic and semiconducting compounds for pharmaceutical and biomaterial applications. After graduation, you will be familiar with the current methodologies, research equipment and modern numerical methods needed to model properties of materials used in research and technology. Note that there is a sister programme (Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences) with a specialisation in medicinal chemistry.
The Master of Science degree provides the skills to work in many different kinds of positions within areas such as research and development, education and management, and industry. In particular, MSc in theoretical physics offers a deep understanding of the physical world, it's structure and functioning as well as practical abilities to work on various other topics.
MSc in theoretical physics prepares the student for an academic career but it also gives excellent skills in using mathematical tools, physical models and computational techniques. These provide the ability to work in various positions from finance sector to data science and machine learning. Moreover, they form the students to new jobs in the emerging quantum technology industries. So, the MSc in theoretical physics prepares you either for a career in research and development in industry or for a follow-up PhD study.
The prospects for employment at relatively senior levels are excellent for those trained in the physical and chemical sciences. Thanks to the broad scope of the programme, the skills and knowledge developed as part of this education at the University of Turku provide many employment opportunities in different areas.
Our MSc graduates have been employed in a wide range of professions, in addition to academic career, such that finance sector, medical imagining, quantum technology, game development, and data mining.
CAREER IN RESEARCH
The Master’s Degree provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. The University of Turku Graduate School – UTUGS has a Doctoral Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences, and covers all of the disciplines of this Master Degree programme. Postgraduate degrees can be completed at the University of Turku. Note that in Finland the doctoral studies incur no tuition fees, and PhD students often receive either a salary or a grant to cover their living expenses. The Master’s programme is a stepping stone for PhD studies.
GENERAL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
A Bachelor’s degree that formally qualifies the applicant to access Master’s level studies in the country where it has been completed. This degree should correspond to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to a minimum of three years of full-time study. You must also prove your English language skills when applying. Please visit the website of the programme for more information.
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Last updated July 17, 2018