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  1. Dishsoap

    Admissions How explicit should my goals be in my Statement of Purpose?

    Instead of phrasing it like "I didn't like biophysics because of X, so I'm switching to quantum computing which does not have X", can you phrase it like "I found that I enjoyed the Y component of my biophysics research, so I am pursuing quantum computing"? It might be a stretch, but I think it's...
  2. Dishsoap

    Testing Sending Physics GRE Scores

    You get to send your scores to four schools for free (you choose these when you register, and they are automatically sent). When you send your scores to any other school, you can choose which score to send. edit: maybe I'm recalling wrong. It's possible that when you send your scores to the...
  3. Dishsoap

    Testing Previous PGRE Exams

    You might want to try that book's sample tests in the back of the book as well. They're a little bit harder than the pGRE but it is still good practice, in my opinion.
  4. Dishsoap

    Programs Should I change to Maths or Physics?

    As a side note, I looked up your course info and sure enough... there is no calculus or linear algebra or anything listed. I'm not familiar with the UK version of things but that is so strange!
  5. Dishsoap

    Admissions Including multiple areas of interest in my SoP for PhD Applications

    In my opinion, there is no harm in mentioning both professors since you are well-versed in both fields. I think the only time it would be inappropriate is if it could be portrayed as you "casting a wide net", as they say, but I don't think you are in danger of coming across this way. I hope some...
  6. Dishsoap

    Testing Previous PGRE Exams

    Unfortunately no :( If it helps, I took it in 2015 and the questions were extremely similar to the more recent available ones.
  7. Dishsoap

    Admissions Including multiple areas of interest in my SoP for PhD Applications

    Does your research experience line up more with field 1 or 2? Or could it align well with both? Are the two fields closely related (or at least both either experimental or theoretical/computational)? Could you tie them together and say something like the following?: As a data point, I also...
  8. Dishsoap

    Other Short leaves of absence with the NSF GRFP?

    Unfortunately, being a hospice caretaker doesn't lend itself well to accomplishing much else. My available free time, ability to focus, and amount of sleep are all in short supply. Also, I would never dream of asking my labmates to take data for me, and the data processing I have to do is minimal.
  9. Dishsoap

    Other Short leaves of absence with the NSF GRFP?

    I understand that medical deferral is the only real option, but by the time I am able to change my tenure status to medical deferral, I will have been back at work for months. Frankly, I'm shocked that there's no way to change my tenure status in the middle of a "tenure year". I would expect...
  10. Dishsoap

    Other Short leaves of absence with the NSF GRFP?

    Hey fellas! I'm wondering if anyone here has experience taking a short (~1-2 month) leave of absence while being funded by the NSF GRFP. The longer version is that I'm eligible for a medical deferral, as I'm taking care of my mom while she is in home hospice, 800 miles away from my...
  11. Dishsoap

    How can I learn more without pursuing a formal education?

    With your math/science background, I do think Griffiths Quantum Mechanics is a good option for you. You can find a used copy on Ebay for 20 bucks or so.
  12. Dishsoap

    Other How can you know what a professor is like personally?

    I can't comment on whether it will help or hurt you (I'll leave that to the people here who have been on admissions committees), but keep in mind most people mention who they want to work for on their SoP without having met the professor, but only being familiar with their work. It's not like...
  13. Dishsoap

    Other How can you know what a professor is like personally?

    Just a thought, it might not hurt to apply to schools and wait to hear back before visiting. I visited a few schools before applying, and was sort of brushed off - after all, why would a professor waste time on a student that hasn't even been admitted? Plus, after you get in, you travel on the...
  14. Dishsoap

    Other How can you know what a professor is like personally?

    Yes, of course both of those are good ideas. If your situation allows, I recommend sitting in on group meetings to see how the PI interacts with his group.
  15. Dishsoap

    Courses Introductory Chemistry Requirement for Physics Majors: Why is it Mandatory?

    Chemistry is applied physics. So is solid state physics, nuclear physics, astronomy, electronics, cosmology, accelerator physics... where exactly do you propose we stop teaching about applications of physics? Should we just teach first year students about the standard model and expect them to...
  16. Dishsoap

    Admissions Can I apply to grad school in my 2nd year of undergrad?

    Is it possible to take a part-time job (or even full-time, if it can be mostly weekends) to support yourself during a gap year so that you can do research?
  17. Dishsoap

    Admissions Can I apply to grad school in my 2nd year of undergrad?

    When I started in grad school, the professors assumed that students had taken two semesters of E&M/quantum/classical mechanics as an undergrad. I also went to a "weak" university for my undergrad, and even though I did take two semesters of these courses, I still rode the struggle bus through...
  18. Dishsoap

    Admissions Can I apply to grad school in my 2nd year of undergrad?

    How in the hell did you manage to take all the required courses in two years? Did you also fulfill your university's general education requirements (i.e., are you actually eligible for graduation?)
  19. Dishsoap

    B Why don't we take air pressure into account in calculations?

    In this case, is the normal force (or frictional force) dependent on the amount of water in the dish?
  20. Dishsoap

    B Why don't we take air pressure into account in calculations?

    To be clear, I'm not talking about the air-water interface, I'm talking about the solid surface on which the object sits (the bottom of the pool, in this case). In the thought experiment, the friction between the "block" and whatever it's moving on. In my experiment, I have an SiO2 device...
  21. Dishsoap

    B Why don't we take air pressure into account in calculations?

    I once was explained the answer to this question - something about both the air and the object being incompressible. However, for the life of me I cannot seem to reproduce the answer of why we ignore air pressure when doing basic calculations. If it matters, the particular system I'm interested...
  22. Dishsoap

    Admissions Can an MS make up for a poor undergrad?

    This is more out of curiosity since I'm not familiar with the process of getting an MS before applying to be a PhD candidate, but why not pursue an MS in physics if you want to ultimately get a PhD in physics? Also, what schools did you apply to (should you aim a little lower)?
  23. Dishsoap

    Physics Jobs during a PhD

    I do know physics students that have taken internships, but I assumed the OP was talking about a full-time job at the same time as typical PhD work. Maybe I'm mistaken. (but also, as a caveat, I know way fewer PhD students than most of the other people in this thread)
  24. Dishsoap

    Physics Jobs during a PhD

    That's not really how it works. For every year you take to finish your PhD, (in the US) your advisor will have to pay another year of tuition/stipend for you.
  25. Dishsoap

    Physics Jobs during a PhD

    Personally, I've never known a physics PhD student who could hold down a full-time off-campus job. I'm a PhD student currently, and I can't possibly fathom doing that. It's not just a question of time, it's a question of mental energy. A physics PhD takes all of your mental energy, and then some.
  26. Dishsoap

    A university blunder has messed up my undergraduate result, and I may end up taking a gap year because of it

    When you say it's impossible that you failed the course, do you mean "I knew my grade going into the final exam and mathematically I couldn't have failed", or do you mean "I've never failed before and don't think it's likely"?
  27. Dishsoap

    Engineering Thinking about switching my PhD program

    What prevents you from coming up with your own projects alongside your supervisor, like your fellow PhD students have suggested? A PhD where you only work on projects that other people come up with sounds quite boring, doesn't it?
  28. Dishsoap

    Other Corporate Blogs: Bad Source for Research Project?

    I'm not sure why everyone is being snarky when you are new to science research. No, corporate blogs aren't a good source for research - stick to peer-reviewed publications in journals :)
  29. Dishsoap

    Courses Which is more challenging -- Graduate vs Undergraduate Physics Courses

    I found my grad physics courses to be way more challenging, for one major reason. As an undergrad, if you struggle with a particular concept, there are plenty of other resources. If you struggle in Griffiths quantum, maybe you can find a different explanation (that might "click" more) in...
  30. Dishsoap

    Admissions Citations and References in Statement of Purpose

    Usually the purpose of citations is to direct the reader to a source of additional information. If you're talking about research already happening at the university you're applying to, the committee members will already be familiar, so I'm not sure there's a need for citations. As a side note...
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