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How difficult is quantum optics lab?

  1. Mar 18, 2014 #1
    I'm currently a chemistry major (senior), but I intend to go to graduate school for physics, so quantum optics lab would me more useful to me than materials chemistry lab. I emailed the physics counselor (since the class is restricted to physics majors) and she said that it would be to difficult, especially having not taken quantum in the physics department. But could it really be any harder than p. chem lab (it's also only a four unit lab)?

    So how hard is quantum optics lab and what background should one have before attempting it? My first quantum course mainly covered the basics. The second started with a crash course through Griffiths E&M and then focused primarily on time dependent/independent perturbation theory and matrix mechanics (the professor was actually a physicist). I've also taken electrostatics in the physics department, mathematical methods, ODE, and linear algebra (upper division), if that matters.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2014 #2
    well i just took quantum mechanics at my school from the physics department and from the chemistry department. The chemistry one gave us more homework but the physics one was a little more abstract. I mean they were both butt ugly hard. The physics professor was more lackadaisacal and didn't give any homework so I didn't feel like I learned as much. Anyway hoped this helped. I find quantum optics interesting as well but I don't think I'm committed enough to fully dive into it.
  4. Mar 18, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    If you're skeptical of the physics counselor's response, I think you should talk to the professor who is actually going to be teaching the QO lab. Surely he knows better than some people on the Internet who don't even have any idea where you are, what background he expects of students. This sort of thing can vary from one school to another.
  5. Mar 18, 2014 #4
    For now I was just hoping for a sort of general overview from anyone that's taken a quantum optics lab before seeking further information at school.

    Anyway, though, it occurred to me today that it may not look very good applying to graduate school in physics and not having a classical mechanics course on my transcript, so I would like to shove that in, since this is my last quarter. In which case, I'd rather not have to also juggle a lab that I was told that I would probably not be able to do.

    New question: How bad would it look if I didn't have a classical mechanics course on my transcript? I was reading a thread regarding math PhD programs and how they would just laugh at you if you applied without having taken real analysis and algebra.
  6. Mar 19, 2014 #5

    Andy Resnick

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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Without knowing any details about the lab, it's impossible to say. For example, what are the specific experiments/modules?
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