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MS in Quantum mech after Electrical and Electronics Engineering?

  1. Jul 14, 2014 #1
    Is it possible to study quantum mechanics at post graduate level(M.S.) after a Bachelors degree(B.Tech) in electrical and electronics engineering?
    The reason I am asking this is in India, my locality lacks good science schools. So, I thought of doing my bachelors in EEE and then take up masters in quantum mechanics at a US University. Is it possible? If so, what are the steps to be followed during my B.Tech study?
    P.S. - In a nearby planetarium, there is a program called REAP for students interested in physics which is designed to teach the whole of undergraduate basic physics(Classical mechanics, Electrodynamics, QM etc). So, I will be attending the program but without any degree in physics. The teachers here will be doctoral professors from IISc, TIFR etc.

    My question is, can I cope up with physics alongside EEE? And will US universities accept students into M.S. in physics with a bachelors degree in EEE?

    Thank you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2014 #2

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes of course its possible.

    And of course you can get accepted into PhD programs with a Masters In Physics.

    But not knowing the scene in India I can't give you any kind of specific advice other than to confirm a Masters in Physics will get you into graduate programs in the US - of course if your marks and recommendations are good enough.

    But I have to also say why are you doing EE. Most engineering schools I know of offer applied math which would be a better choice. I think even Computer Science would likely be better.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  4. Jul 14, 2014 #3

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    I checked out the REAP physics:
    http://www.taralaya.org/reap-overview.php

    It seems a program in physics you take in parallel with your degree.

    Yes - that would be acceptable preparation for admission to a MS in physics.

    It seems you are in or close to Bangalore. I did a search on schools there. There are programs there for physics and math eg:
    http://www.acharya.ac.in/bse10.html [Broken]

    That would seem a better preparation than a BEE.

    Of course it is a three year degree which in general is not considered adequate for admission to US graduate programs. But you can do a Masters after that would be eg:
    http://www.acharya.ac.in/mscph.html [Broken]

    You have posted about this before, but I have to say its a very difficult question to answer because you need someone intimately familiar with the situation in both India and the US.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Jul 16, 2014 #4
    Thanks Bill, but the problem with Institutes providing bachelor of science program in India is that they lack the most fundamental facilities, like bad labs. Very few schools like IISc provide the best science education. No research opportunities, horrible coaching in other schools. So most people prefer engineering which, when studied at the institutes similar to ones iv joined, would provide participation in a wide range of activities. That's why I choose EEE.

    Cheers
    Sagar
     
  6. Jul 16, 2014 #5

    DLX

    User Avatar

    All of these are applicable also to engineering institutes in India AFAIK. The only difference is workshops and events etc.

    Actually, science colleges are about as well equipped as most engineering colleges - but it is a stretch aspiring to do good research as an undergraduate when you are still learning the ropes, so to speak. I agree with bhobba in that you would have been better served with a BSc in Physics or Mathematics.

    Yes, and no. EEE will cover the electromagnetism part with only a few differences. You will generally have enough math background to understand quantum mechanics. It is now the matter of your interest. It is difficult to make a direct jump from an Indian EEE degree to quantum mechanics, but not impossible (my understanding is that very little or zero QM is taught in the engineering course). You will have to do a lot of self-study.

    The REAP program can help you but since it does not provide you a degree, it cannot be counted as equivalency for a four year degree in physics. For this reason I have doubts on whether you can actually apply verbatim to physics departments without at least clearing the GRE in Physics.
     
  7. Jul 17, 2014 #6

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    Again I don't get it - I really don't.

    I cant see how that wouldn't apply to EE as well, except your taught component will not be geared to your career aspiration.

    Why not do a degree in math/physics then a masters in math/physics. That will allow you to apply to graduate schools in the US, where I am in Australia or just about anywhere I am aware of.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  8. Jul 17, 2014 #7
    Alright, to tell you the truth, my parents just don't want me to study basic science. Screw the fools of India. So, I have no support from them.
    And by the way, if fundamentals of physics by halliday resnick walker is enough to know the basics of physics (and obviously external knowledge), and clear physics gre, that won't be a problem because I have studied that book(80%) for my entrance test. So I am good to go.

    Cheers
    Sagar
     
  9. Jul 17, 2014 #8

    DLX

    User Avatar

    Likely, but perhaps job prospects are (much) better for engineering in India, so that is where students go.

    While your statement may be true, I would advise against using such language. People have reasons for their preferences. You seem to have just entered engineering, so why are you already interested in quantum mechanics? Most students take a good two years (at least) into their undergraduate to realize what they want to specialize in. You would be wise to consider something that you like within EE. There are of course fields of overlap, you can thus switch over to physics if you really wish to.
     
  10. Jul 17, 2014 #9
    I'm sorry for that language just was frustrated.
    Thank you
     
  11. Jul 17, 2014 #10

    DLX

    User Avatar

    I can understand your frustration but I want to tell you to take things easy. I started off with electronic engineering because that was what I was interested in as a kid. An interest in electronic devices tapered me off slowly into semiconductor physics, which later developed into a more generalized interest in solid-state physics. Now I have worked on chemical thermodynamics and solid-state batteries. If you have the interest, nothing is impossible - but you need to put the effort. EE and physics overlap in many areas - there is a good chance you will find a common point of interest over your four years.

    You will need a better text than Halliday and Resnick to clear the physics GRE. I would expect the REAP programme to help you significantly for this.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  12. Jul 17, 2014 #11
    So, would Computer Science be better than studying EEE?
    And by my rank, I may not get a good institution for Cs, but there is a similar course: Information science which I can study at a good institution! Both have almost similar syllabus/concepts. Will that be helpful?
    P.S. : i'm asking this because learning computer science may help creating physics simulations.

    Cheers
    Sagar
     
  13. Jul 17, 2014 #12

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    I think so because computational physics is a rapidly expanding and growing area. Here in Australia computational science is a specialist area often taught at the honours level requiring a sub major in an area like physics eg:
    http://anusf.anu.edu.au/hpclab/cseep.html

    Regarding your parents thing - yes I get that.

    But if you want to pursue your dream you will have to cut the chord sometime. One advantage of an computer science/engineering degree is its a 4 year degree so will provide direct access to graduate programs in the US. You could keep your parents happy and pursue your dream as well a bit later.

    Here is an example of such as Masters:
    http://www.physics.ku.edu/graduate/comp.shtml [Broken]

    I am sure you can find others.

    Information science is usually considered synonymous with computer science with an important caveat. Some information science degrees do not cover the necessary more advanced mathematics and coding for a future career in computational physics. So have a careful look at the syllabus. If in any doubt go for a CS/Engineering course eg (out you way):
    http://www.bmsce.in/be-computer-science-and-engineering [Broken]

    Best of luck.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  14. Jul 17, 2014 #13
    I checked out the difference between information science and computer science. It a difference in one semester (out of 8 ) and the rest of the seven are EXACTLY the same. Upon requesting the reason for two separate branches, I found out that it was introduced to Increase the number of engineering seats as CS is growing very rapidly here. And in that one semester, the difference is that CS students learn more about management and business whereas IS students learn more about computers. So, I don't think it would matter as far as the knowledge gained is concerned. But wondering if the degree received would matter.

    Thanks
    Sagar
     
  15. Jul 18, 2014 #14

    DLX

    User Avatar

    ^Computer Science from India is NOT a good background for computational physics. Computational physics is NOT quantum mechanics. Please be clear about these things. Computational physics assumes and requires basic training in physics or applied mathematics - a minor in CS would help. In the end, coding is a small part of computational physics - the lion's share is the mathematics and algorithms required to incorporate those mathematics. For your case I recommend you to stick to EEE or ECE if you cannot go for a physics or mathematics degree.
     
  16. Jul 18, 2014 #15

    Vanadium 50

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    Staff Emeritus
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