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How important is taking physics lab?

  1. Jun 7, 2006 #1
    Do you think it is important to take a physics lab subject for a whole semester if I am focusing on the theoretical side? Or would it be more beneficial to skip the lab and do more theory subjects in order to get a better grounding of the thory?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2006 #2
    I think its important to have a good idea of how experimental physics is done, even if you're doing theoretical.
     
  4. Jun 7, 2006 #3

    Dr Transport

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    You'll learn more about physics by doing in the lab than calculating on paper. Everyone should have time in the lab, no exceptions.....
     
  5. Jun 9, 2006 #4
    Even for a mathematical physicist?
     
  6. Jun 9, 2006 #5
    Of course!
     
  7. Jun 9, 2006 #6

    Dr Transport

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    Every physicist, theoretical, computational, mathematical etc....should have at a minuimum of one year of lab courses/experience at the undergrad AND graduate level. If you don't you have been severely cheated out of an important portion of your training as a physicist.

    Even a theoretican has to be able to talk to and interact with experimental physicists and an important part of that interaction is having a rudimentary knowledge of lab techniques. My PhD advisor has told me that I have become a much better and more rounded physicist since I started interacting on a daily basis with my counterparts in the labs I deal with, matter a fact I spent a good part of this week in the lab working on learning to take data which is very important to the sucess of a program I am working on. How many theoreticians can say that they played an important part in the design, build, test and calibration of a measurement apparatus down to the choice of rotation stages and lock-in amplifier choice along with the specification of the detector systems. I spent time learning to program LabView to help in the control of the data aquisition, there wasn't a theoretician on the faculty at my university who could say that.
     
  8. Jun 10, 2006 #7
    Very convincing. They also labeled this lab subject as a core subject so I should take it instead of doing extra theory.
     
  9. Jun 13, 2006 #8
    i agree with all the previous statements ,being able to do lab is very important when it comes to science ......
     
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