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  1. 1

    Schools Astrophysics at University

    Hey - no bother (feel free to pm if you have any specific questions about the whole uni physics experience in the UK - i just finished so know a thing or two). Now, this may be an unpopular comment (and maybe controversial knowing some people on this forum haha) but: I'd be inclined to go for...
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    Schools Astrophysics at University

    Hi, To be a professional astrophysicist you will need a PhD in a field of astrophysics, but in order to get into a PhD you can do a much more general degree, and have examples of your interest in astrophysics (i.e. through doing a summer placement whilst at Uni, taking elective classes...
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    Admissions Applying for Physics PhD

    Hi, Just to put my two cents in: I am a UK undergrad, who applied to both UK and US PhD programs (eventually deciding for a UK Uni) and was successful in both applications so I think I know what they are looking for, and there is a bit of a difference. When you say MSc, are you planning...
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    Schools Universities in Scotland: Physics

    Hi, First off, as an undergrad, I don't think the research focus of the University should be your main consideration as there is no guarantee that you will stay there for graduate studies (if you choose to go for a PhD following your BSc or MSci degree). You should consider both the...
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    Senior thesis, or finish work on REU project?

    Hey, I was going to suggest what 'eri' said - I didn't do this, but a few friends did and it turned into a great senior thesis. On the other hand, getting a good range of research is almost as important as going really in-depth into a project (grad schools aren't expecting you to have spent...
  6. 1

    Skeptical about undergraduate research

    I did undergrad research for two summers, both in the same field, after completing a quantum course and an EM course (EM probably more important for what I worked on) and I think it helped my physics education tremendously and did not need a graduate level degree to pick up the theory. True, I...
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    Rejected from all REUs, worried about the implications

    Hi, It might be because you are a sophomore and those programs prefer juniors so I would definitely apply again next year. As for a predictor I don't think so, as there are so many factors that go into REU selections that might not go into grad school selections (such as, perhaps those schools...
  8. 1

    Difficult project decision

    Id go for the second project. People have lots of different jobs in their life and diversity on your CV is a must. Also, you make more contacts that way and even if they are a small company networking never hurts. You are also likely to gain skills and experience that will help in your future...
  9. 1

    How to get ahead in Physics

    This may sound like a daft opinion on how to get ahead, but I wouldn't focus so much on learning advanced material from bookwork until you get to that level in class or slogging through problem sets - sure its great to be interested and keep challenging yourself, but you don't want to burn out...
  10. 1

    REU without funding

    I didn't say that you weren't able to get onto a PhD program without research experience, but funding is getting tighter and anything that sets you apart helps (whether that is summer research in your home dept or further afield- I only pushed the US since that was what the original poster was...
  11. 1

    REU without funding

    Yes, but REUs offer an infrastructure (they often provide housing, bespoke summer schools, activities, you have other undergrads to spend the summer with etc.,), that you don't get by just getting in touch with a Prof you want to work with who might have some money. The only comparable European...
  12. 1

    How can I get out of this mess?

    Unless they offer you the job then and there (which isn't really fair of them to do anyway as they should know you have applied to a bunch of places) then what's the harm in doing the interview, and just not accepting the job at a later date?
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    REU without funding

    The only issue about funding yourself is that it can quickly become very expensive to live as you will need to pay rent, food etc., and so unless you have a fair bit of money saved up it might be a struggle. Getting some form of scholarship from your home country may help (if they exist). If...
  14. 1

    What is this field or job called?

    Hi, I think what you are looking for is 'astrophysicist' in general. To be specific, then lots of different fields study the topics you listed, and there is a fair bit of cross over in astrophysics. Cosmology - dark matter, big bang, origin of the Galaxy(ies) General Relativity - black holes...
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    Programs Which programming languages might a physics major learn and why?

    IDL is very widely used in astronomy (and some other physics fields, I believe) and is very similar to Matlab (the only big difference I have come across is that arrays start with 'zero' index rather than '1')- so it should be fairly easy to learn if you know Matlab.
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    Undergraduate handicap and/or impossible to get ahead predicament. Need help

    With regard to REUs, they are in part designed to give undergrads their first taste of research (well, thats the impression I get anyway). In fact, I was accepted onto my first REU last summer with only basic lab work from undergrad labs, and tbh I doubt it was that experience which got me the...
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    Post Your Grades for Spring Term

    Haha...It was a TOUGH year (I think my final year will not be quite as severe). Also, it looks like a lot, but I think our classes are a wee bit shorter than US courses- the astronomy were 22 lectures each and the physics options were 18 lectures each. Plus we had no labwork this year, as our...
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    Post Your Grades for Spring Term

    I have 10 (one left to go!) this year....most were, in a word, GPA is taking a hit this time round I fear. No grades yet but my classes were: General Relativity Cosmology Astro Data Analysis Radio and Optical Telescopes Solid State Math Methods II Nuc and Particle Atomic Systems...
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    Physics REUs for 2011

    Has anyone been to LASP/HAO Reu in Boulder CO before?