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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 rateyourstudents.blogspot.com. It's really entertaining.
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    Bachelor of Arts

    Look at what they say about their undergraduate program: http://buphy.bu.edu/undergrad 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: http://www.expandingyourhorizons.org/ 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.
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    I feel like I waste too much time on the wrong parts of lab reports

    Perhaps you could post one of your reports here and we could give you direct feedback on it?
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    Which school is better for theoretical physics - Princeton or MIT

    The difference in the quality of the undergraduate physics education at MIT and Princeton is essentially negligible. The same can probably be said about any number of other schools. I think you will need to use other criteria to make your choice -- for starters, you need to get in first!
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    MATLAB Just bought MATLAB

    I would hesitate to buy any software before you enroll, as software such as Mathematica and Matlab is expensive and you may be able to get them through your school for free. The copies at my school only work when you are on the campus network, but it is better than paying for it. You can also...
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    Directions for failed physicist

    Depending on your location and your school, it is conceivable that you might be able to take courses for credit at another nearby university. I would talk to your professors at your school and see if you can find some research opportunities. At the very least, you should ask for their advice.
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    In class final for a graduate EM class?

    And to think they could get away with it, in a class of seven people? If any two people in a class that small do a hard problem with exactly the same work and with the same writing, it should be pretty obvious that the professor is going to catch it.
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    Trying to narrow down career options.

    It's not that they are so different that comparison is meaningless, but it depends entirely on what you want to do. Depending upon your abilities and interests each of these three programs could be valuable.
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    Which is more respectable?

    That's a stupid question. There is no singular career associated with each particular degree and the degrees themselves can be as hard as you make them. There are no absolutes when judging entire fields.
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    Testing Math + Me + SATs = Help

    Take a few practice tests, and look in the book you bought. It should all be laid out for you and become pretty clear once you've put in the time to practice.
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    Problem Solving question with circles

    I think graphing it would give you the clearest and most obvious answer, although you could also solve it algebraically. Since these are equations of circles, graphing them should be very straightforward. I'm sure instructions on how to do this are in your text.
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    Programs What options to choose for my physics degree

    From that website, it seems that the normal duration for a degree is 4 years. It seems that you want to cut off one of the last years -- are you sure that is possible or advisible? I would wait until you are enrolled in the program and can get advice from the faculty before deciding this one way...
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    Conservative field

    To test if a field is conservative, you can take the curl...
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    Distance between planes in crystals

    Thanks for you help. It looks like the general proof isn't actually so tedius after all, so I guess I'll include that instead.
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    Distance between planes in crystals

    I'm working on a lab report on powder X-ray diffraction off of some relatively straight-forward crystals (Si, NaCl, CsCl) for an introductary course on modern physics. I thought it would be useful to include a partial derivation of the formula relating the distance between parallel planes, d...
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    Courses Course Advice Needed

    Even the most "pure" math is rarely without any practical applications at all, so even if you major in "pure math" you'll still learn lots of practical math. Linear algebra, vector calculus and differential equations are perhaps the most essential applied math, useful for just about all...
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    More math or more physics?

    Do you really need to choose one entire course set or the other? I think Mathematical Methods would probably be worth it for physics whether you do theory or experiment. My Mathematical Methods class is covering differential equations, PDEs, Fourier Series, Fourier and Laplace Transforms...
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    Testing The way of marking exams

    We have a similar case at my school. Occasionally there will be sections of a class with different instructors, but the department chair is notorious for frowning on changing courses for the professor, so much so that the multiple sections are usually taught at the same time so there is no...
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    Seemingly simple proof I can't seem to get

    Nevermind then... I was thinking if it had to be true for any given constant value of x that would be the way to go about it.
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    Seemingly simple proof I can't seem to get

    The Euler Formula expansion is key.
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    Sereach for a subject

    By "tutor" thebigcheese means the same thing as "professor," "instructor" or "teacher."
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    Calc Question

    a) Your maximum and minimum values of f (f(0) and f(4)) should be in terms of p, as specified in the problem. p is a constant that is the same for any given case of the function. You have no requirement that f(x)=0, so you can choose whatever values of p you desire. b) Try graphing f with p=0...
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    Typical Dilemma

    Your parents do realize that MIT will presumably change the compensation later when they have more kids in college? I would also highly recommend calling the MIT financial aid office and discuss your options before you give up. They want you to come and will do everything they can to help you out.
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    Typical Dilemma

    I think it would probably be worth picking MIT, if only because the general caliber of students there is certain to higher overall, and that contributes greatly to your academic experience. You may be able to find a community of bright, committed students at any school, but you have far better...
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    Schools Colleges that offer degrees in nuclear and particle physics

    You get an undergraduate degree in physics. You can specialize in nuclear or particle physics in graduate school, or perhaps with a few advanced courses as an undergraduate.
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    Which classes should I enroll in?

    Useful to know would be: -The courses you've taken -What you need to take -Your particular interests and plans -What the standard physics major track is at your school -How much physics you want to do -The level of these courses -All the other factors about instructors, subject areas, etc. So...
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    Source for quotation about science/physics?

    I read this some time ago, I don't remember where. Roughly paraphased: "Old scientists are never convinced of any radical new theory. Eventually, the old scientists die and are replaced by new ones who grew up being taught it." Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thanks for your help.
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    REU this summer anyone?

    I applied to some in a similar timeframe or within a week or two later and haven't heard back from any yet, either.
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    Hello all- my introduction/ my plea

    That is ridiculous. It may not be something you want to deal with, but I would make a brief comment to whoever his supervisor is. The tutor may try to just laugh it off, but making comments like that is not okay and he needs to know that.
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    Why are Globular Clusters so Metal poor?

    (Disclaimer: I am only a student) I believe the reason why globular clusters are so metal poor is because, like elliptical galaxies, they do not have regions of new star formation, so all the massive stars have gone nova long ago. In contrast, in the main disks of spiral galaxies with their...
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    Where Do You Publish New Patterns?

    I suspect you're going to need to prove your pattern formally before it will be taken very seriously. At least show that it is true for arbitrarilly large values of n using a computer. Going up to n=9 is not going to cut it.
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    Schools Undergrad college choice

    I'm not entirely confident in this, as I am sure that you would also receive an excellent education with the bright students at MIT or Princeton, but I did choose a small college for this reason.
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    Schools Undergrad college choice

    I chose in particular to go to my school, Swarthmore College, precisely because I wanted the strongest general undergraduate program I could find in science and the liberal arts (I was not certain that I wanted to be a physics major). The school has remarkable resources for its size (1400...
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    Resources for Math Undergrads: REUs, Internships, etc

    I am a sophomore physics and math major and am interested in doing research this summer, preferably in some sort of theoretical physics or math, but realistically in any sort of physics, as there seem to be few opportunities to do theoretical physics in an REU, and as I have regretably not taken...
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    Do I square acceleration when solving.

    You are simply plugging in the given values for V0, t and a. Your top equation, doing this replacement, looks like this: x = (2.80 m/s) * (8.5s) + 1/2 * (11.3 m/s2) * (8.5 s)2 I don't know where you get the plus between the first two components, but that's multiplication. Using the...
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    Cp and Cv

    You don't do work with a change in pressure, but rather a change in volume: dW = PdV Since work is done in the constant pressure case but not the constant volume one, Cp and Cv are different.
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