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I'm a second Semester Sophmore Physics major, but my situation . . .

  1. Jan 21, 2007 #1
    I'm a second Semester Sophmore Physics major, but my situation is a bit different that what you would expect. I actually only switched major to Physics last year so I'm only taking Freshman Physics courses. I'm confused about the whole Research thing. Firstly, how does it work? Are you assigned to work with a professor by your advisor and help him do research? Second, I doubt they would take somebody who is still taking basic Physics classes to help with real research, so when do you think that I should start trying to start doing Research.

    I understand that this is really important for a Physics major to get into a good graduate school so I want to start ASAP.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2007 #2
    You can probably just read the webpages of some of the faculty and then contact those that interest you. If you ask your advisor (s)he might be able to give you a better idea of who is doing what and could use someone at your level.

    At this point, I would think that someone doing experiment would be a better fit early on than theory. For one, you most likely won't need to know a lot of physics to be able to contribute. Secondly, there are probably a lot more positions available for experiment since it involves a lot of data collection.

    Whatever you do, don't expect to "get it" the first time. Since research will be new, it is somewhat expected that you make some mistakes. If you have questions about what you're doing, don't hesitate to ask someone in your group. You'll probably save a lot of time and potential headache that way ;)

    Good luck!
  4. Jan 21, 2007 #3


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    I think the sooner the better. If your grades are good, you like some area in particular a lot, and you go to the office of any of your professors and show those things, none of them should say no to you. Of course there will be always a punk that will try to discourage you because some university offices are full with frustrated guys, but I'm sure you will find a nice guy, a nice department and a nice beginning for doing small things. You may not be paid of course. And you may not have already the knowledge required, but to be honest, if you want to pursue grad school you better start to be autonomous about that learning on your own.

    When I first started I was in my 3rd year of Mech. Engineering (5 years program) in Madrid, and I even didn't have to go to any office to ask. I was called by them to interview me due to my unusual interest in class (asking a lot of questions) and my outstanding grades in the subject (Fluid Dynamics). And after 3 years and a half, here I am at grad school at UCSD.
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