Proseminar on Theoretical Physics SoSe 2017

Proseminar on Theoretical Physics SoSe 2017

Overall goal

The seminar will require students to read an academic paper selected from the list below and to present a 30 minutes seminar on the subject. The aim of the seminar will be to familiarize students with scientific research literature, and to develop their comprehension and communication skills. All articles are taken from the American Journal of Physics, and are available on-line through the subscription of the SLUB.

Time and location

Wednesday 5th double period: 2:50 pm at BZW 120



  • 3.5. Florian Knittel: E4
  • 24.5. Paul Wilhelm: E6
  • 31.5. Moritz Schneider: M7
  • 14.6. Carl Lehmann: E2
  • 28.6. Ludwig Zschuppe: M4

First seminar 5 April 2017

Please send your (ranked) preference for 3 topics to me until April 3rd. A complete list can be found here.

In the first week I will give a discussion on how to present a scientific talk, and how to read a scientific paper. I will also give a demonstration seminar on the paper “The inertia tensor of a magic cube” by A. Rogers and P. Loly, Am. J. Phys. 72, 786 (2004).

Course structure and aims

In each weeks one student will give a seminar. One week before the talk I will meet the respective student right at the end of the preceeding seminar (also room BZW A120) or other time/date on mutual agreement. The aim of this meeting is to discuss questions on the paper, and also to listen to a first draft of the talk so that feedback can be given to the student to help improve their presentation. The first student presentation will be on April 14th.

The students should not simply recite the paper in their talks. Rather, comprehension of the work must be shown by discussion of the aims, methods, and results of the paper, and critically evaluating the appropriateness of the author's treatment of the problem. The students may also need to consult further literature to understand the context and significance of the work. Students must be prepared to answer questions from the audience on the paper. 

The seminar is not to be a passive experience for the audience. I expect that all students will read the paper for each talk, so that they can ask questions to the speaker at the end for a period of no more than 20 minutes. If questions remain, I will lead a discussion of the paper in the remaining time.