Specialization Semester

Duration:

Internal specialization semester (EPFL): one semester. External specialization semester: min. 4 months, max. 6 months.
At EPFL: 14 September 2020 to 15 January 2021 and 22 February to 11 June 2021

Supervision:

The Specialization semester must be supervised by a professor or MER (Maître d’enseignement et de recherche/Senior scientist).

Credits: 30 ECTS

The credits for the specialization semester are awarded on the basis of the evaluation of the specialization work. There are no credits attributed to courses taken as part of the specialization semester.
Students take courses and/or an experimental or theoretical laboratory work. A report may be requested, as well as an oral presentation. The Specialization Semester is graded by pass or fail.

Purpose:

Students have the opportunity to develop their knowledge in a project that will help specialize them in a specific field of physics. The project can take place in a laboratory at EPFL or in an external research institute.

Content:

Students develop a physics-related project that allows them to gain new knowledge and practical experience in a specific field under the supervision of a professor in the physics section. The training plan is fixed by the supervisor. It can be fully experimental or theoretical, or a mixed. Courses in the doctoral program are accessible upon supervisor’s request.

https://www.epfl.ch/labs/het/master-programme/

Students having the necessary background will be introduced to modern research topics in High Energy Theory and will attend the following doctoral-level courses:

  • Advanced Quantum Field Theory
  • Gauge Theories and the Standard Model
  • Conformal Field Theory and Gravity

Profs. João Penedones and Riccardo Rattazzi

These constitute the Specialization Semester, in the framework of the Master in Physics at EPFL, and have the purpose of complementing the work on the Master Dissertation. Naturally, the Master Dissertation is supervised by a professor from one of the high Energy Theory groups, which may be an extension of the TP project. This is when students put everything they have learned into practice, leading to work which is often published in distinguished scientific journals.

Students having interest in QST can take advanced courses during their specialization semester. They might be combined to an in-depth experimental or theoretical work in a research lab.

Quantum Information and Quantum Computing PHYS-641

Prof. Vincenzo Savona
After introducing the foundations of quantum mechanics and of the measurement process, the course will cover the theory and practice of digital quantum computing. Both fundamental aspects and recent developments will be discussed, among which the most recent quantum algorithms, the theory of quantum error correction, and hybrid algorithms for the solution of optimization problems.
Course Book

Advanced Topics in Quantum Sciences and Technologies PHYS-744

Profs. Jean-Philippe Brantut, Christophe Galland, Vincenzo Savona and various lecturers.
This course provides an in-depth treatment of the latest experimental and theoretical topics in quantum sciences and technologies, with a focus on quantum sensing, quantum optics, cold atoms, and the theory of quantum measurements and open dissipative quantum systems.
Course Book

Students will follow three advanced courses to dig into the recent development of condensed matter theory:

Field theory in condensed matter physics PHYS-639 (compulsory)

Prof. Christopher Mudry
Course Book

Statistical Field Theory MATH-606

Dr. Franck Gabriel
Course Book

Neutron Scattering – theory and applications in solid-state physics PHYS-640

Prof. Henrik Rønnow and Drs. I. Zivkovic, J. White, T. Schmitt
Course Book

Quantum Information and Quantum Computing PHYS-641

Prof. Vincenzo Savona
After introducing the foundations of quantum mechanics and of the measurement process, the course will cover the theory and practice of digital quantum computing. Both fundamental aspects and recent developments will be discussed, among which the most recent quantum algorithms, the theory of quantum error correction, and hybrid algorithms for the solution of optimization problems.
Course Book

The Plasma Physics Specialization Semester mainly consists of an experimental or theoretical research project supervised by a researcher at the Swiss Plasma Center. In addition, the student will be introduced to advanced research topics in Plasma Physics by following and successfully passing the exam of one of the doctoral-level courses offered at the center. Depending on the semester, the offer consists of one of the following courses:

  • Magnetic Confinement (PHYS-731)
  • Plasma Instabilities (PHYS-736)
  • Fusion and Industrial Plasma Technologies (PHYS-632)
  • Plasma Diagnostics in Basic Plasma Physics Devices and Tokamaks:
    from Principles to Practice (PHYS-732 ) / Control and Operation of Tokamaks (PHYS-734)
In order to enroll for a Plasma Physics Specialisation Semester, a student should have successfully attended at least one of the following classes: Plasma Physics I, Plasma Physics II, Plasma Physics III, and Nuclear Fusion and Plasma Physics.