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Programs BS Mathematics to Phd Quantum Mechanics?

  1. Oct 13, 2012 #1
    Dear friends,

    I'm presently a junior math undergraduate, and my ultimate goal is to do my master's/PhD work in quantum mechanics, specifically exploring possibilities of temporal superposition for advanced quantum computing.

    The question is if it is doable to go from a bachelors in mathematics to a master's and PhD in quantum mechanics. I've known a few people to do it before, but it seems that programs are getting more restrictive all the time. Unfortunately it is too late to change my major to physics without doing another year of undergrad, which I cannot afford to do.

    I do well in mathematics, and I love it. It's also worth noting that other skills are in play: I've been a programmer specializing in artificial intelligence for quite some time. I've worked for robotics companies, defense contractors, and so on. Lots of life experience, just decided it was time to finish school and go for what I really wanted: quantum mechanics. I bring up these other skills because they could come into play for consideration in grad school.

    In mathematics, I enjoy group theory, differential forms, and so on. I've studied things I wanted to study, purely for the love of the subject. Recently have been digging into p-adic analysis, exploring potential applications for finding the roots of chaotic systems.

    So... al things said, is this feasible to do, given all the information mentioned? Or am I just kidding myself? I like to think that it's doable, but if it's not, things could get really tricky.

    Note that my advisor thinks it's somewhat doable, but he's in pure mathematics and says his opinion doesn't extend to physics.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you may offer. I sincerely appreciate it.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2012 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Did you read the "Can I get a Ph.D. in physics if my bachelor's degree isn't in physics" thread? If so, what specifically do you need to know that is not there?
  4. Oct 14, 2012 #3
    What physics do you know? You have to do okay on the subject GRE and get recommendation letters.
  5. Oct 14, 2012 #4
    I know most physics up to junior level or so, at least as it is at my university. Working on a research project right now having to do with matrix mechanics. Recommendation letters won't be a problem; I've got those coming out of my ears (somehow I got rather popular amongst the profs). By the time I graduate, I'll probably have pulled off a physics minor.
  6. Oct 14, 2012 #5
    Vanadium 50: I just saw and read that thread. It contains most of the information I need.

    The qualifying exams at my schools of interest should tell me how well prepared I am for it.

    Thank you.
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