Difficult to pick a single branch. Dare I say that it's impossible? I really like mathematically beautiful theories, this I've learned the past year while studying GR and analytical mechanics (the manifold kind). A course in QM I'm studying now has my full attention as well. The level of mathematical rigour is probably related with the fact that our instructor is a mathematical physicist. What I also liked is the little taste of Holography (AdS/CFT mostly) we got in an elective course. It's awesome to see how really involved calculations become rather easy when switching between the field theory and it's gravity dual. On the more 'practical' side of the spectrum, non-equilibrium stat. mech. was great to study as well. Although I'm a long way of really grasping all subtleties. -Joris
Since my first physics lecture I always had a special place in my heart for "measurements and units".
Oh very nice, thank you! A proper GR book by Choquet-Bruhat is definitely awesome, her other GR book was too hard for me. But I cant buy this for a while because I just dropped some 80 bucks on Eric Poisson's new book on GR and Post-Newtonian mechanics, which you should definitely check out because the book is extremely, extremely good and is lush with calculations. The title is "Gravity: Newtonian, Post-Newtonian, Relativistic".
I like most (probably all :tongue2:) branches of physics, since I seem to have had a fundamental interest in physics all my life. What I mean is that I haven't yet stumbled upon an area which I found uninteresting. But I am a layman; I have studied basic classical physics and basic experimental physics, beyond that I have studied some other physics on my own, because I felt like it (I couldn't keep away from it). But if I had to choose some favorite branches, let's say three, the first one would be particle physics. I've been interested in it since I first saw a picture of the atom (Bohr model) at age 13 ca. I haven't lost my interest in particles since then. And I'm still learning... The second favorite would be quantum physics, and the third one would be astrophysics/cosmology.
I'm kind of all over the map as a general rule, but currently I am really interested in special relativity and the concept of quantum mechanical linear vector spaces.
If I was to go to graduate school, I'd choose something that doesn't involve quantum mechanics. I took a quantum mechanics class and I was lost. I passed somehow, but I just did not understand it. The problem, though, is that if you want to get involved in any physics field, it seems like you're going to have to know at least a little bit about quantum mechanics. It's how the universe works.
I'd say fluid mechanics, thermal physics, and optics (namely lasers). Definitely the more applied areas.
General Relativity and its alternatives Quantum field theories and Quantum gravity Foundational and philosophical issues related to quantum mechanics, measurement problem and a little quantum information and quantum computing
Fluid dynamics (Engine and airframe related) and general astronomy with a touch of planetary geology and paleontology.