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Where Do I Begin?


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I will be starting a Masters program for Physics in the Fall of 2015 and would like to START researching some ideas for a Master's Thesis. However, whenever I start researching something I am interested in (say for example, quantum gravity) the physics is so over my head it is not possible for me to understand the "big picture". For example, in undergrad I did dark matter research. The "big picture" was easily grasped: we were trying to find evidence that dark matter existed. 


Here is my main question: How does one investigate an area of research when there is no way they will be able to understand the details involved until much later? 


Does anyone have advice about how to understand what researchers are trying to do without understanding the specifics of the math/physics involved?



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You should always start with a question and never a topic.


Questions help you 1) Figure out what your going to do  and 2) puts constraints on your project.


You could ask: Does Dark Matter Exist? 


Then you can find all the relevant articles that attempt to answer that question. Within those articles there are probably gaps or bounds. Try and find a way to either expand what others have done, or fill in gaps that others have not been able to fill. 

Edited by GeoDUDE!
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As a wise king once said to a habitually-late rabbit, "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop."



In other words: read until you don't understand something. Then read until you figure out what that means. Repeat this process until you find something you don't understand and no one can tell you what it means.

Edited by telkanuru
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