Control theory useful for a physics major?

  • Thread starter theFencer
  • Start date
Is a control theory class usueful for someone who wants to do experimental physics in grad school?
So from the lack of response, I figure it's not very useful?

Vanadium 50

Staff Emeritus
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4,778 gave us ten whole hours to answer your question.
So from the lack of response
You got an overdamped response... That could be a controls joke... a terrible one.

It's a good class. I don't use it much at my job but it was fun to learn. I took the class for my undergrad ME. It was a good exercise in linear algebra and electrical signals.
Control theory is more important for engineers e.g. anyone who works in robotics, but it is also a good exposure to mathematical methods of problem solving in the real world.


Science Advisor
I really depends upon what you end up doing. I use what I learned in control theory A LOT
but that is because I am an experimental physicists and happen to work in a field where we often use PID controllers for temperature control, feedback loops for stabilizing oscillators etc.
It would obviously not be quite as useful I was working in e.g. string theory.
Although I must say that having some idea about how to determine e.g. if a system is stable can really come in handy even when working on more "abstract" theory.

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