Will the admission committee care about specific research topics or do they only care if I can/cannot do research irrespective of the topic? Will an off-topic thesis be looked as sign of inconsistent interests?
It would be great if answers focus mainly on US schools, however answers for european schools are also welcome.
Related questions : Will an off-topic Masters hurt my chances of a PhD place? . My question is very very similar to this but with two main differences - 1) The author of that question had no option and was at liberty give this as a reason if it was brought up in the admission proces. But I cannot do this and thus, will it be looked at as sign of irregular intersts? 2) I want answers for US and not UK
Why I ask this question:
I am a Physics Master's student from India and will be starting my Master's thesis around 3-4 months from now.
Until this point (and even right now) my projects were in Cosmology-Dark Matter. I enjoyed them and I want to apply for PhD in Theoretical Cosmology/HEP/AstroPhysics groups. This decision is based on my chances to get a PhD position in a good place and how much I liked the topics.
I always wanted to study/work on "pure theoretical" topics such as Quantum Gravity. But after I started my Bachelor's I realized that it is impractical to pursue these topics, at least not for PhD (lack of positions and funding - from what I heard from seniors). However, I really want to research on these topics at least once, and I know for sure it will be next to impossible once I start my PhD. That's why I want to work on this for my Master's Thesis. I have read an interesting paper on semi-classical gravity and have even approached a professor in my department who is willing to guide me on a project related to the paper. However, I am not sure if this is a sensible choice. How will such a thesis affect my PhD application? I do not even know if I'll produce any new results but I really want to try this but at the same time I am worried if this would reduce my chances of getting PhD in a good place i.e will a thesis on Cosmology give a higher boost than this? My previous research projects on Cosmology were quite extensive, with one first author paper, so I can show that I have some experience in the topic. But I do not know if the admission committee compares specific research topics or do they only care if I can/cannot do research irrespective of the field.
Thanks in advance!