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Good physics publications/journals for an undergrad?

  1. Jun 2, 2013 #1
    I am wondering what publications/journals are good for someone new to the field (just finished my first year of undergrad)? I am looking for resources that are fairly well-rounded. I have not decided on my sub-field yet, and want to have reading materials that will show me the latest ongoing research in various fields. One resource that was mentioned to me was Physics Today, but what else is out there? Also, if you have anything for me, are the websites pretty good, or would you recommend actual paperback subscriptions that might have information the site won't? Thanks in advance. ;)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Jun 2, 2013 #3
    Yes, that is definitely some of the type of materials I was looking for. Thanks jedishrfu. I'm open to any other suggestions anyone might have as well. The more I have, the more I can sort through to see which ones I like best. :)
  5. Jun 2, 2013 #4


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    Physical review letters prints short (4-5 page) articles from several subfields. It's a high-impact journal, so it will give you an overview of recent examples of interesting physics research.

    Since you're currently a student, you should have access to the journal through your university's library website.
  6. Jun 2, 2013 #5
    For getting overviews, you could try sites like http://physics.aps.org/, which have commentaries on some interesting research. At your level, you might still find it difficult to understand some of the papers, which tend to be highly technical and dense.
  7. Jun 3, 2013 #6
    Thanks for the feedback and website. As far as some of it being difficult to understand, I'm counting on it. Although physics has been a hobby of mine since I was a kid, the stuff I was used to reading was for the layman, like Discover Magazine. You and Mute gave me exactly what I'm looking for, which is the scholarly stuff. Thanks to both of you.
  8. Jun 3, 2013 #7

    George Jones

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    American Journal of Physics (AJP)
    "AJP publishes papers that meet the needs and intellectual interests of college and university physics teachers and students. Articles provide a deeper understanding of physics topics taught at the undergraduate and graduate level, insight into current research in physics and related areas, suggestions for instructional laboratory equipment and demonstrations, insight into and proven suggestions for better teaching methodologies, insight into how college students learn physics, information on historical, philosophical and cultural aspects of physics, annotated lists of resources for different areas of physics, and book reviews."

    Contemporary Physics
    Form Wikipedia: "Contemporary Physics is a peer-reviewed scientific journal publishing introductory articles on important recent developments in physics. Editorial screening and peer review is accomplished by members of the editorial board."

    Physics World
    Something like Britain's version of Physics Today.
  9. Jun 3, 2013 #8


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    Skip journals entirely and just browse the arxiv: http://arxiv.org/ .

    It's a bit jumping into the deep end, but such is research.
  10. Jun 3, 2013 #9


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    Jumping into the deep end with no lifeguard and no ability to swim is a recipe for drowning.

    I think this is poor advice.

    For someone who just completed their first yer of graduate school, jumping into the arxiv and reading papers one finds interesting is a great idea.

    For someone who just completed their first year of undergrad, it is not an efficient use of time.
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