1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Class selection question

  1. Nov 20, 2012 #1
    next semester I have a choice between solid state physics and statistical mechanics. I will take the other class next year. My interests are in experimental materials science.

    The solid state class will focus on electromagnetic properties of materials covering crystal structure and X-ray diffraction, Drude and Sommerfeld model, periodic lattices and band theory, lattice vibrations, experimental probes, semiconductors, dielectrics, magnetism.

    The stat mech class will cover review of basic thermodynamics, classical gases, Bose statistics, Fermi statistics, interacting systems with cluster expansions, second quantization and intro to phase transitions. Applications include electrons in solids, phonons and magnetism.

    Which one will be more beneficial to my interests?

    I will also be applying to PhD programs in materials science and engineering, physical chemistry and chemical physics next fall, all in experimental fields. Which class would make myself more attractive to these PhD programs (they won't get to see the grade for the other class by the time I apply)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2012 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    I would take stat mech before solid state, irrespective of how you think it will look. While it may not be a strict prerequisite, it will certainly help.
  4. Nov 20, 2012 #3
    these are both graduate level classes; I've already taken undergrad stat mech. Does that change anything?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook