Recent content by Sir_Arthur

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    UCLA for physics

    I agree that you have a solid shot right out of highschool (write good essays), and that there is no University in the country that has "typical" students that friendless/hardworking. Finally, if you do choose to enroll in a community college, the UC system no longer accepts transfers until...
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    How can a school's undergrad be so diff from its grad?

    If you want it, here are the Mech Eng. Rankings for schools that offer a doctorate: [Broken] USNews figures that you're after a certain type of college experience and separates Baccalaureate Colleges (where you'll presumably have more...
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    Learning Physics

    You can find a quality text free online here:
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    Can a ball roll down a frictionless plane?

    There is no such thing as a completely frictionless plane; it's an idealization used to discuss the laws of physics while ignoring friction. The question is really more like, can gravity and the normal force torque a sphere? The closest we can get is in examples like the waterfall mentioned above.
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    Foreign Language

    My school advises that all majors in math and physics intending on grad school gain at least a reading proficiency of either French, German, or Russian. How important is language proficiency to grad school? Will it affect either my ability to learn or my chances at entering top programs...
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    What are the top 3 fields that the smartest people choose?

    Fungineering. You need a degree to be a successful fungineer.
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    Coldness of Space

    Isn't it true that temperature is a property of particles (be they the interstellar medium or the radiation travelling through space) in space? Isn't talking about the temperature "of space" inherently meaningless because even if you could create a void with no particles (even virtual ones) it...
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    Hawking Raditation and particle-antiparticle pairs

    The way I understand it it, black holes decay because particle-antiparticle pairs appear so close to the black hole that the particle gets away, but the antiparticle falls in and annihilates part of the black hole (Hawking Radiation), but there are two things I don't understand: 1) When the...
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    Can a ball roll down a frictionless plane?

    In order to solve for the bigger ball, try drawing a picture. 1. Take the center of mass as the pivot because this what a rolling ball rotates around; assuming the ball is uniform, it would be at the center of the sphere. 2. Draw in the action of gravitational force, even if the ball big...
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    Car Rolling Friction

    1) If friction is preventing the car from moving, then the frictional torque is equal to the torque it is acting against (190) 2) Static (unmoving) friction depends on the force it is opposing, because friction never adds energy to a system and can only oppose the other forces acting on it...
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    Speeding up before a Hill to Save Gas

    Although it's fairly insignificant, if you wait until you are on the hill to accelerate (simply maintaining speed on the hill) gravity will be pulling down on the gas you would've burned speeding up before hand, resulting in a greater gravitational force and more energy lost from the system.
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    Schools Preparing for E&M physics (2nd Semester College Physics).

    Don't worry too much. The second section of Halliday & Resnick (if that's what you're using second semester as well) isn't too rough with vector calculus. We used it in my high-school AP class and although most of the students were only in Calc I or II (AB or BC) my physics teacher was capable...
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    Break between grad& undergrad phx for master's in philosophy?

    I don't know what impact it would have on you admissions-wise (though I assume it would be small), but I think it would be a brilliant idea life-wise. Expanding your mind in a non-technical way is probably really good for you, and if you would take the masters at the same institution you wish to...
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    Help me find beauty in physics

    Physics is the way math is expressed fundamentally in the real world. I had a reverse problem (liking physics but not math in HS) and have recently discovered a joy in math. Physics would a be great science for any math major, but make sure you enroll in the highest division class you can...
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    More than three calculus classes?

    If you're considering Reed as an example of a good program bear in mind that they also have four calculus classes. Calc I, Calc II, Mulitvariable Calc I, and Multivariable Calc II. I feel like a fourth calculus class is a sign of more in-depth study, not of the first three classes being weaker...