Recent content by Stephan Hoyer

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    UG research Advisor wants me to come up with my own topic

    Its a little presumptuous to think that an undergrad just starting on an REU program can figure out their own area of research. First of all it's pretty unlikely that you would even be able to work on any project of your choice as your adviser's expertise and resources are going to determine...
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    Ratemyprofessors website?

    matt (and others) - you may be interested in It's really entertaining.
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    Bachelor of Arts

    Look at what they say about their undergraduate program: It's obviously a serious program. If you take the appropriate courses obtaining a BA should be no obstacle to further study in physics. There are many serious physics programs that only offer a BA.
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    Shouldn't the electromagnetic fields in waves be 90 degrees out of phase?

    I did indeed learn this sort of stuff in my courses on Electricity and Magnetism, but both courses I've taken (intro and advanced undergraduate) presumed a knowledge of vector calculus. You're probably studying a text without the same mathematical prerequisites (I used Purcell and then...
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    Shouldn't the electromagnetic fields in waves be 90 degrees out of phase?

    pizzadude - Take another look at Maxwell's Equations in free space. The relationships between the electric and magnetic fields involves the time derivative of one and the curl (a some of spatial derivative) of the others. The change in space of a sin function is cos, but so is the change in...
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    Why?Probably the most popular question in physics.

    Exactly. For me it's not even so much that I find solving problems more fun than writing papers, but I find it easier, too. It's ridiculous to assume that physics is inherently some sort of pinnacle in the hierarchy of disciplines. You can make any subject as difficult as any other, and for...
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    Adjoint operators

    ultimateguy: In the form of abstract operators, the definition of a Hermitian operator A is A = A^\dagger. You can just use matrix algebra to get your answer. Your second equation in the list that you consider the definition of a Hermitian operator is the follows from the what a Hermitian...
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    Courses How rigorous do these courses look?

    complexPHILOSOPHY - Your Math 252 course looks very similar to Vector Calculus so you may actually be okay on that requirement.
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    Testing A few practice SAT essays

    Werg22: I didn't write an essay for the SAT, but I wrote an essay for the SAT II writing section which I understand to be essentially the same thing (I did well). One thing that you may what to consider is that from what I recall they prefer you to use multiple examples or sources of evidence to...
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    Best Electromagnetics book?

    Griffiths is superb. The later chapters, even though the math gets harder, are still well written. I haven't used Jackson or Schwartz, but I would use Griffiths while you can, if it covers the material you're studying. Of course, my experience is merely a course like yours that managed to get...
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    Cheat sheet policy at your school?

    Maybe you don't have simple derivations, but to take upper level electrodynamics and mechanics courses, for example (what I'm doing this semester), it's not hard to recall Maxwell's Equations or the Euler-Lagrange Equation if you've worked at least a minimum of problems. Take a look at the back...
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    Mathematica Mathematica Help

    You need to put a space between your n and x. Mathematica is treating nx as a single variable, which explains the funky result.
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    Electric Potential

    Your integration limits for \phi and \theta should be switched.
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    A project

    Take a lot at information on Expanding Your Horizons conferences: They do essentially what you're talking about.
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    Problem about Lagrange's equation

    Your kinetic energy is also missing a term.