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Control theory useful for a physics major?

  1. Feb 28, 2009 #1
    Is a control theory class usueful for someone who wants to do experimental physics in grad school?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2009 #2
    So from the lack of response, I figure it's not very useful?
  4. Mar 1, 2009 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    Wow...you gave us ten whole hours to answer your question.
  5. Mar 2, 2009 #4
    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.
  6. Mar 2, 2009 #5
    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.
  7. Mar 2, 2009 #6


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    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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