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Physics Journal Subscriptions

  1. Jul 8, 2007 #1
    I'm signing up for the Society of Physics Students, which gets me a free 1-year membership in the American Physical Society and a subscription to one of the following journals:

    Physical Review Letters
    Physical Review A-E
    Review of Modern Physics

    For a second-year undergraduate, which of these journals would be best? (Out of the Physical Review A-E, my likely choice would be D, but I'm not sure whether to pick D, Letters, or Modern.)
     
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  3. Jul 8, 2007 #2

    olgranpappy

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    PRL is more prestigious than the other PR's and the articles are usually shorter and harder to follow. I'm not totally sure, but I think that RMP articles are usually longer and more in depth so perhaps they would be good for learning (although, they are probably just boring).

    Personally, I would pick PRL.
     
  4. Jul 9, 2007 #3
    When you say "good for learning," what do you mean? Is it something I, as an undergraduate, would learn from--or would it just be way over my head? I haven't even had multivariable calculus officially yet (though I've used a bit in physics), let alone abstract algebra or complex analysis. We've covered mechanics, special relativity, quantum mechanics, and E&M.
     
  5. Jul 9, 2007 #4

    robphy

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    What is your field of interest?
    I assume that you know that D is "Particles, Fields, Gravitation, and Cosmology".

    Does your institution have online access?
    If so, you might wish to look over what kind of articles are in each.
    Here is Phys.Rev. D: http://prd.aps.org/. The others are available through that site as well.
     
  6. Jul 9, 2007 #5
    My institution probably has online access--but it doesn't do me any good since I'm hundreds of miles away.
     
  7. Jul 9, 2007 #6

    robphy

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  8. Jul 9, 2007 #7
    I recommend choosing Reviews of Modern Physics. Review articles tend to have broader appeal and to be written for a broader audience than journal papers. A paper subscription to PRL or PR[A-E] is likely to be overwhelming, and chances are that you have online electronic access to those journals anyway though your university.
     
  9. Jul 9, 2007 #8

    olgranpappy

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    Sure, it will be way over your head--I'm a 5th year physics grad student and most of the damn articles are way over my head. But maybe you can at least familiarize yourself with the language, and perhaps you will learn something too.

    After all, S. Weinberg has said that in physics it is often useful to swim towards rough waters...
     
  10. Jul 9, 2007 #9
    As a college student or faculty member of a university you should have free online access to journals through your library.

    Talk to a librarian at your school they should be able to tell you how. Your school's website may also have that information.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2007
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