Hi all, I'm in an M.S. physics program, and am about to graduate May 2011. I do not have anything published yet, despite a summer's worth of research (which was very slow-going!). I want to be a theoretical physicist.... a competitive field. So: I need extra time to publish something ebfore I go knocking on the doors of PhD programs. If I have hard results "published and out there", PhD programs are going to take my application much more seriously. I know publication is not a prerequisite for application, but 1) to "get good" at research seems to me will make the PhD experience a little easier 2) I will have more time to study for the Physics GRE 3) I can live cheaply at my parents house, so why not? Are there any downsides to the plan I am rosily-describing right here?