GRE Physics without Quantum Mechanics

In summary: E&M book; the GRE doesn't ask anything terribly advanced, and there aren't any problems in it that you can't get through with just formulas in your head.In summary, the individual is planning to take the GRE Physics exam without any formal classes in Quantum Mechanics or Advanced Electromagnetism. They have taken basic courses in E&M and some introductory courses in Modern Physics and Nuclear Physics. They are seeking recommendations for crash courses in Quantum and E&M, preferably with online lectures and resources. They have already tried some practice GRE exams and have struggled with rigorous mathematical concepts and advanced questions in E&M. They have decided to use lecture notes to study for the exam and are seeking advice on the usefulness of those notes.
  • #1
americanforest
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I'm going to be taking the GRE Physics not having taken any formal classes in Quantum Mechanics or Advanced Electromagnetism. Obviously, I have taken the basic Freshman/Sophmore year E&M but I haven't taken the advance level class yet. Also, I have taken an Intro to Modern Physics class which had some quantum mechanics (Bohr atom, Time-independant Schroedinger, Harmonic Oscillator and Infinite Well potentials. I have also taken a Nuclear Physics class and do some research in particle physics so I picked up some quantum from there.
Can anybody recommend some "crash courses" (complete within 2 months with a couple of hours a day) in Quantum or, especially, in Griffith's level E&M?
 
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  • #2
Please note that this will be an independent venture with no assistance from experts (excluding my occasional ventures onto these forums). I don't think reading textbooks on the subjects without guidance is the best idea for me so a class website with lectures notes, homework and solutions, and (ideally) some video lectures from some university would probably be the best medium.
 
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  • #3
It seems like you are maybe trying to take the physics GRE a year too early. It's true that the questions on it are not terribly high level but if you've not had any E&M at Griffiths' level or I assume mechanics at the level of Marion & Thornton or so, the GRE may give you trouble. For the quantum part, you might be able to get away with going through the first half of a quantum text (such as the one by Griffiths).
 
  • #4
bravernix said:
It seems like you are maybe trying to take the physics GRE a year too early. It's true that the questions on it are not terribly high level but if you've not had any E&M at Griffiths' level or I assume mechanics at the level of Marion & Thornton or so, the GRE may give you trouble. For the quantum part, you might be able to get away with going through the first half of a quantum text (such as the one by Griffiths).

I have gone through two of the practice GRE's with help from the wonderful resource http://www.grephysics.net" and find that I can do a large portion of the Quantum problems. Where I struggle is in specific questions about rigorous mathematical concepts and formulations of the subject.

As for Electromagnetism, most of the questions are on a more or less basic level but stumbling upon more advanced questions which I can't understand or solve is always unpleasant. For example, yesterday I stumbled upon a question concerning a special relativistic treatment of electric and magnetic waves: something of which I have no knowledge.
 
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  • #5
americanforest said:
I have gone through two of the practice GRE's with help from the wonderful resource http://www.grephysics.net" and find that I can do a large portion of the Quantum problems. Where I struggle is in specific questions about rigorous mathematical concepts and formulations of the subject.

As for Electromagnetism, most of the questions are on a more or less basic level but stumbling upon more advanced questions which I can't understand or solve is always unpleasant. For example, yesterday I stumbled upon a question concerning a special relativistic treatment of electric and magnetic waves: something of which I have no knowledge.

As for the quantum mechanics, the rigorous stuff you can pretty much junk. you get 1.7 minutes per question, so your best bet is to memorize a few tricks about harmonic oscillators and Hermite polynomials; in the available practice tests and the one I took officially, there weren't any quantum problems that required you to muck about in derivations - in fact I'd say the quantum problems were the easiest ones! Griffiths might be a good book to look into, but you probably won't find anything that goes beyond the scope of a standard modern physics text.

As for the E&M question, could you be more specific?
 
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  • #6
I've decided that I'm going to try to learn as much as I can about the two subjects through some lecture notes which look good. This is quicker than learning from a book, which tend to give too many gory details which aren't all that necessary for me in my current endeavour. The series of notes I am using are:

1. http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/examples/B17L.pdf"
These notes are pretty heavy on mathematics, but I was expecting that when dealing with this subject.​

2. http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-04Spring-2006/LectureNotes/index.htm"
I'm afraid that these notes might be too basic. What do you all think? Are these enough to tame the GRE?​

I look forward to getting bailed out by this forum while I stumble through these notes.
 
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  • #7
Honestly, you can ace the GRE with just Serways (Or Resnick's)
 

1. What is the GRE Physics exam without Quantum Mechanics?

The GRE Physics exam without Quantum Mechanics is an alternate version of the regular GRE Physics exam, designed for students who have not taken a course in Quantum Mechanics. It covers all other topics in physics, including classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and optics.

2. Are there any differences between the regular GRE Physics exam and the version without Quantum Mechanics?

Yes, the version without Quantum Mechanics does not contain any questions related to Quantum Mechanics. However, the difficulty level and format of the exam are the same as the regular GRE Physics exam.

3. How can I prepare for the GRE Physics exam without Quantum Mechanics?

You can prepare for the GRE Physics exam without Quantum Mechanics by studying all other topics in physics thoroughly, practicing past exam questions, and familiarizing yourself with the format of the exam. It is also recommended to review any introductory quantum physics concepts that may appear in other topics on the exam.

4. Can I take the regular GRE Physics exam and the version without Quantum Mechanics?

Yes, you can choose to take either the regular GRE Physics exam or the version without Quantum Mechanics. However, you cannot take both versions of the exam in the same testing period.

5. How will my score be affected if I take the GRE Physics exam without Quantum Mechanics?

Your score on the GRE Physics exam without Quantum Mechanics will be calculated based on the questions you answer correctly. It will not be affected by the fact that you did not take the Quantum Mechanics version of the exam. Your score will still be a valid measure of your knowledge and understanding of physics.

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