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Schools Best University Physics Program

  1. Apr 8, 2010 #1
    I want to know which university has the best physics program, my main university goals are MIT and Caltech, but I want to know if there are any universities with a better undergraduate program for physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2010 #2
    Berkeley, Princeton, Oxbridge, McGill
  4. Apr 8, 2010 #3
    Just so you know, posting three new threads per day that could easily be answered by searching is bad form. Use the search button.
  5. Apr 8, 2010 #4
    I searched and didn't find anything that could help me other than my post.
  6. Apr 8, 2010 #5
    There is no such thing as a best undergraduate physics program. It's best for specific people. MIT can be either the best physics program or one of the worst depending on who you are and how you learn. For me, it was one of the best experiences in my life, but I've seen smart motivated people just completely self-destruct there.
  7. Apr 8, 2010 #6
    I learn better when I'm alone and I don't absorb alot in class but I'm good at taking notes.
  8. Apr 8, 2010 #7
    It depends on what you are looking for. I am currently at the university of waterloo physics co-op program. And if you don't intend to do your masters, then the co-op program is probably a good idea because it gives you job experience. One of my close friends goes to McGill for physics and they don't learn the same things we do. They do thermodynamics before quantum, you do all your calc in year 1, they don't do differential equations, they teach you Java and we(waterloo) did C++. Oh, and waterloo is harder.

    If you are passionate about quantum then waterloo would probably be a good idea. they have perimeter institute which is one of the leading quantum research facilities in the world.

    and you will change haha. you need study groups
  9. Apr 8, 2010 #8
    I don't really know which type of physics I like most I only know the basics of quantum mechanics and other university stuff through university textbooks and opencourseware, I'm only 15 and I haven't learned alot of physics in school, so I study more advanced physics in my spare time. I'm very passionate about the subject and I'm sure it's what I want to do for the rest of my life, so I' going to get a PhD but I'm not sure if I want to get an MSc.
  10. Apr 8, 2010 #9
    On all three threads? B.S., I just find 10+ threads on each of your post topics. Learn to search, seriously. PhysicsForums is not here to answer the same questions over and over because you don't like to look for information.
  11. Apr 8, 2010 #10
    McGill physics undergrads certainly do differential equations, and we don't learn java either, we're taught both C and MATLAB, mostly, for different purposes respectively.

    Also, thermodynamics, as far as I know, is uniformly taught before quantum. I'm refering to basic thermo (the 3 laws, etc...), not statistical thermo. And how does the perimeter institute in any way effect the quality of undergrad education at Waterloo? Lastly, "Waterloo is harder"? Give me a break.
  12. Apr 9, 2010 #11
    I don't know how to search I guess, what do you care anyway, if you're annoyed then don't answer my threads.
  13. Apr 9, 2010 #12

    Vanadium 50

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    I suggest you lose the 'tude.

    People here are volunteers. You are looking for help, and you don't want to antagonize the people who can help you. Furthermore, if you really intend to go to a top school and have a career in physics, you will have to learn how to look up information on your own. You certainly shouldn't snap at the people who are trying to tell you this.
  14. Apr 9, 2010 #13
    I'm not snapping, and I don't have an attitude. I searched and only found one topic regarding one of my threads and it isn't this one, I would understand if she had answered my Jobs With a PhD thread, but I didn't find find anything on the physics university program subject.
  15. Apr 9, 2010 #14


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    Staff: Mentor

    We have lots of threads here that are variations on "which university should I go to for my undergrad?" or "is university X, Y, or Z better for physics?"

    The forum search function isn't very good at finding general topics like this, but if you simply scan back through two or three months' worth of threads, you should find plenty of material.
  16. Apr 9, 2010 #15
    Ok thanks for the help.
  17. Apr 11, 2010 #16

    Hey, can u pls tell me more about your course. I have done masters in physics and have 2 year IT exp. under my belt. I want to study this particular field of quantum computing, but not getting a good course(in physics) there..pls tell me more about it...Thanks..
  18. Apr 11, 2010 #17
    MIT is not a good school for loners. The way that people learn physics there is that the instructor gives you some incredibly difficult problem sets. The problems are so difficult, that there is absolutely no way that you can learn the material on your own, so ends up happening is that people form study groups that work until 3-4 a.m. figuring out the problem sets. It's those study groups in which you really learn physics. Most of the learning at MIT ends up being student-student learning, and while you are trying to solve the problem set that is due tomorrow morning, you learn a whole bunch of other skills.

    What happens is that the program is really, really tough, but part of what makes it nice and fun is you get to work with people that also think that tough physics is nice and fun. One then that made the experience nice for me is that in high school, people thought I was a little weird for being a "science geek", but at MIT I found myself in a place full of "science geeks" There are so many different types of people at MIT that it's not hard to find a group of people that you fit in with, but you do need to find some group, since I don't think that anyone can get through MIT by themselves.

    People that try to get through the program by themselves inevitably end up in a lot of trouble. What will happen while at MIT is that you think to yourself "I'm stupid." But what happens if you are in a good situation, is that you end up talking with your friends, you figure out that they are feeling the same way, "you're stupid" "I'm stupid" "all the teachers are stupid" "MIT is stupid" and then you have fun talking about how bad MIT is, and in end you have fun bashing the institute at 3 a.m. while you are trying to figure out the problem set that is due tomorrow. You figure out that you have absolutely no clue how to solve problem 3), but neither do any of your friends so you all just sit down and try to work everything through, and then you stagger to the turn in box, put in the problem set, and then stagger off to get some sleep.

    What incredible fun it was!!!!

    What makes MIT a bad place, even a dangerous place, for loners, is that if you end up just sitting in your dorm room thinking about how stupid you are, and you aren't talking to anyone else about that, it can very quickly get into a very bad downward spiral. You think you are stupid because you can't do the problem sets, feeling awful makes you less able to do the problem sets, you feel ever more stupid, etc. etc. Once you get this downward spiral it is very, very dangerous (i.e. people have died from this).
  19. Apr 11, 2010 #18
    I think study groups are fine when I'm with people who actually want to study but at my school, every time I try to study with a group of people nothing gets done because we just start making jokes and stuff.
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