Everyone has a different set of values and a lot of things in life are neither correct or wrong. There is a lot of context that shapes the way people look at the world around them. We could give you advice or list off things that helped us, but we don't share the same past experiences or...
Oh ok! In statistical mechanics you will study both classical and quantum systems. You should be familiar with the particle in a box and harmonic oscillator problems. You also need to know what fermions and bosons are. Textbooks will usually bring these topics up I believe. This should be...
Here is a brief what works and what doesn't:
http://tguilfoyle.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/file/view/What_works,_What_doesn't.pdf
Doing problems is a good strategy. Self-testing as well. In addition to what symbolipoint said, if you look at a solution, ask yourself where you went wrong and why...
Are you sure about that? A grad qualifier may consist of four questions on a single topic with a three hour limit. The GRE is one-hundred multiple choice questions over a broad range of topics with a three hour limit. You will need quite a bit of intuition and be able to recognize wrong answers...
In addition to what jtbell asked, have you had any previous exposure to physics? You mentioned you are just starting your journey in physics. It may not be a good idea to jump straight into quantum mechanics.
We need to know your math background as well as any exposure to physics you have had.
Pruxxia, there is a lot of research done on how people learn. Studying more does not necessarily mean you will perform better than someone who studies less. The key is to studying effectively and efficiently. Take a look at...
You should be studying smart. If you spend 500 hours studying areas you are strong in or comfortable with, that really isn't useful study time. We can't give you an estimate for time: too many variables to consider.
Also, cramming 500 hours into a single month is far less effective than...
I agree with Vanadium and Dr. Courtney here. I've looked at your post history and I believe you should get help for your psychological issues if you are not already. I do notice one problem you have is you expect immediate understanding/results. Yes, there are things that the instructor could do...
Tell that to someone with Bipolar Disorder. Do some reading on circadian rhythm:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm#Human_health
Even something such as not sleeping the same time every day can have negative effects. Some people are rather ultra-sensitive to this.
Anyone with a diagnosed mood disorder (or any mental illness for that matter) is disqualified from joining the military. Joining the military is not going fix such an illness in the same way that joining the military will not fix cancer. I agree with Bipolar Demon and Stat Guy; please get help...
Regardless of your background, here is a short article that discusses learning strategies:
http://tguilfoyle.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/file/view/What_works,_What_doesn't.pdf
Concept maps are good too if you know how to make one...
I was being unfair. There are quantitative skills and you do develop some computational skills. Although, I was answering the OP's question in terms of physics vs. engineering and I think there are other problem solving skills that engineers develop.
There is more to problem solving than solving relatively simple problems in a textbook. Engineering curriculum usually involve a senior design project where students have to work with team members and propose some design. They need to take into consideration things such as budget, time, and how...
Have you spoken to a professional such as a counselor about your depression? Mental health issues have the potential to spiral out of control. If you decide to speak to one, you might also be able to find out what you want and ways to deal with your current situation. It sounds like you are very...
You can try skimming through papers in various areas to see what might be appealing to you. You can do some internet searches of different experimental techniques and the equipment used. Computational approaches and some mathematical and numerical techniques involved. I would just get an...
I have jumped around with different advisers.
The first one: I enjoyed the research but I feel like I was not a match personality wise in the group. I just did not like the vibe of the environment - it was not a bad one either; I just was not a match for it.
The second one: I decided to stay...
I agree with micromass. Optics, for example, has a lot of math research related to numerical analysis. A lot of interesting math there - some of it being the same math found in general relativity! As far as I know, every physics field will involve difficult math and have interesting problems to...
One of the most untrue things I have ever heard about graduate school is the notion of "having no life". I spend quite a lot of time on some of my hobbies - I do have the occasional busy moments, but it's really not all that bad. Like others have mentioned, you need to be proactive about...
You can look into computational electromagnetics/optics which is the field I currently work in. It fits really well with some of the interests you have listed and there are a large variety of projects! The research is commonly done in departments of electrical engineering, mathematics, optics...
You'll need to know linear algebra, single/multi variable calculus, and how to solve some basic ordinary and partial differential equations. Courses in these fields can help, but are not necessary. Most physics programs require students to take a class that covers the mathematical techniques...
Normally one would look up the general solution to some differential equation and then apply any initial conditions or boundary values. What you should focus is knowing what a differential equation is, how to set up a problem that will produce such equation (like what you do in mechanics), etc...
The best you can do is get research experience, good grades, good physics GRE scores, and have a clear idea about why you are applying to particular school. For example, if you want to go to Princeton and are interested in ultrafast optics, you'll get rejected because no research in ultrafast...
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths is good for GRE purposes. Also, due to atomic physics relying on quantum a lot, studying Griffiths will help for about a quarter of the test. Because of this and other special topics, quantum really makes up 25% of the test.
I did some research in volcanology for ~1.5 years. I did a lot of computational stuff where I solved partial differential equations among other things. I also implemented a way to visualize the results graphically as a simulation. Just depends I guess...