GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents

In summary, the GRE Physics Subject Test covers a variety of topics, including Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Optics and Wave Phenomena, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Atomic Physics, Special Relativity, Laboratory Methods, and Specialized Topics. Courses such as Engineering Physics I and II, Modern Physics, and Electricity & Magnetism cover similar material. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations are typically learned in a course on Classical Mechanics, but can also be self-taught. A basic understanding of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics is sufficient for the exam. It may be helpful to use a study guide such as "Conquering the Physics GRE" to prepare for the exam.
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logan3
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I'm trying to make a check list of courses I need to study and review for the GRE Physics Subject Test. I have a few questions following the list. Thank-you for any help.

Engineering Physics I
Engineering Physics II
Modern Physics
Electricity & Magnetism
Statistical Mechanics & Thermodynamics
Quantum Mechanics

The GRE says Electromagnetism. Do courses called Electricity & Magnetism usually cover the same thing? Is undergraduate Electrodynamics usually the same thing too?

Are Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations learned from a specific course or learned spread out over several courses? I've seen some colleges with undergraduate courses titled Classical Mechanics, Physical Mechanics or Classical Dynamics. Which of these is for learning Lagrangian and Hamiltonian? Again, are dedicated courses over Lagrangian and Hamiltonian common, or are they spread out over many courses?

Do I need to study both statistical mechanics and statistical thermodynamics, or just statistical mechanics and non-statistical thermodynamics (i.e. basic thermodynamic systems)?

GRE Website said:
Content Specifications

CLASSICAL MECHANICS — 20%
(such as kinematics, Newton's laws, work and energy, oscillatory motion, rotational motion about a fixed axis, dynamics of systems of particles, central forces and celestial mechanics, three-dimensional particle dynamics, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism, noninertial reference frames, elementary topics in fluid dynamics)
ELECTROMAGNETISM — 18%
(such as electrostatics, currents and DC circuits, magnetic fields in free space, Lorentz force, induction, Maxwell's equations and their applications, electromagnetic waves, AC circuits, magnetic and electric fields in matter)
OPTICS AND WAVE PHENOMENA — 9%
(such as wave properties, superposition, interference, diffraction, geometrical optics, polarization, Doppler effect)
THERMODYNAMICS AND STATISTICAL MECHANICS — 10%
(such as the laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamic processes, equations of state, ideal gases, kinetic theory, ensembles, statistical concepts and calculation of thermodynamic quantities, thermal expansion and heat transfer)
QUANTUM MECHANICS — 12%
(such as fundamental concepts, solutions of the Schrödinger equation (including square wells, harmonic oscillators, and hydrogenic atoms), spin, angular momentum, wave function symmetry, elementary perturbation theory)
ATOMIC PHYSICS — 10%
(such as properties of electrons, Bohr model, energy quantization, atomic structure, atomic spectra, selection rules, black-body radiation, x-rays, atoms in electric and magnetic fields)
SPECIAL RELATIVITY — 6%
(such as introductory concepts, time dilation, length contraction, simultaneity, energy and momentum, four-vectors and Lorentz transformation, velocity addition)
LABORATORY METHODS — 6%
(such as data and error analysis, electronics, instrumentation, radiation detection, counting statistics, interaction of charged particles with matter, lasers and optical interferometers, dimensional analysis, fundamental applications of probability and statistics)
SPECIALIZED TOPICS — 9%
Nuclear and Particle physics (e.g., nuclear properties, radioactive decay, fission and fusion, reactions, fundamental properties of elementary particles), Condensed Matter (e.g., crystal structure, x-ray diffraction, thermal properties, electron theory of metals, semiconductors, superconductors), Miscellaneous (e.g., astrophysics, mathematical methods, computer applications)
 
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Yes, Electromagnetism is the same thing as Electricity and Magnetism. Most undergrads offer two semesters of it - in my experience, except for a few rare questions only the first semester is needed for the pGRE.

For Lagrangians and Hamiltonians, that's typically "Classical Mechanics". Whether these are learned in the first or second semester is heavily dependent on the school, it may be best to ask your CM professor about that. Although for the GRE, only a cursory knowledge of Lagrangians and Hamiltonians is required, you could easily learn it on your own (I am horrible at self-teaching, but I did this, and it is not difficult).

For thermo, this is my own personal experience, but a basic knowledge of basic thermodynamic systems and stat mech will carry you far. You can do quite well just by memorizing equations, and the details of the beloved Carnot cycle.

For the GRE, it may help you at this point to get a book like "Conquering the Physics GRE" as opposed to going over all the undergrad textbooks. This book gives a basic overview of all of the things that are on the test, and also includes practice tests. If nothing else, it will give you a good idea of what's on the exam, and then you can study in depth more on your own.

Again, keep in mind I'm only an undergrad, and it does no good to answer your questions on "what courses cover what" since they vary between schools. Try asking your advisor.
 
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Related to GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents

1. What is the GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents?

The GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents is a standardized exam designed to assess a student's knowledge and understanding of fundamental concepts in physics. It covers topics such as mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics, and modern physics.

2. How is the GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents administered?

The GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents is a computer-based test that is typically administered at designated testing centers. It is offered multiple times throughout the year and students can register for the exam online through the official ETS website.

3. What is the scoring format for the GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents?

The GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents is scored on a scale of 200-990, with 200 being the lowest possible score and 990 being the highest. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions, and one point is awarded for each correct answer. There is no penalty for incorrect answers.

4. How long does the GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents take to complete?

The GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents has a total testing time of 2 hours and 50 minutes, which includes a 10-minute break. The actual exam consists of 100 questions and must be completed within 2 hours and 40 minutes.

5. What are some recommended study resources for the GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents?

There are many study resources available for the GRE Physics Subject Test Course Equivalents, including official practice tests from ETS, review books, and online study materials. It is also recommended to review fundamental concepts from undergraduate physics courses and to practice solving problems in a timed setting.

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