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Quantum Physics In College

  1. Apr 4, 2010 #1
    Hello, I was wondering if a person majoring in physics takes quantum physics classes too, and if a person with a BSc in physics get a doctorate without having an MSc in physics.

    Thanks for the help. :D
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2010 #2
    I don't think that it would be possible to get a bachelor without going into quantum mechanics, it is pivotal to every field you might want to go into. The only physics that don't rely on quantum is cosmology.
  4. Apr 4, 2010 #3


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    Every physics major I know of requires at least one semester of quantum mechanics, if not two. You can enroll in a PhD program with a bachelors, but you can't skip the masters coursework, although not all PhD programs grant the masters degree. But they will require you to do the coursework. And even if you do want to study cosmology, that still requires quantum mechanics (observational cosmology often relies on spectra, and you need to know QM to know how those spectra are produced and interpreted).
  5. Apr 4, 2010 #4
    I would not call that quantum mechanics, rather just the quantization of light which was the first thing found to be quantized. It do not require a course, you can learn the essence of it and how it is important for cosmology in a single lecture.
  6. Apr 4, 2010 #5


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    If you want to do early universe cosmology, then quantum mechanics is very highly important.
  7. Apr 4, 2010 #6
    Aye, but isn't that called particle or high energy physics?
  8. Apr 5, 2010 #7
    I want to major in physics and I want to take quantum mechanics courses, then I want to get a PhD to become a university professor, but i just wanted to know if it was obligatory to have an MSc to enroll in a PhD program.
  9. Apr 5, 2010 #8


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    When you ask questions like this, it is imperative that you indicate where you are, or where you intend to go to school. Different parts of the world have different requirements! In the US, you only require a B.Sc or similar degrees to be accepted into a Ph.D program. This may not be true in other countries under other educational systems. So it would be moot to give you any specific advice without knowing where you intend to go to school.

    There are roughly three basic areas of physics that practically ALL physics students, regardless of where they go to school, must learn and know rather well by the time they get their undergraduate degree: classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and classical electromagnetism. So don't you worry about learning QM. You'll have to know it as a physics major whether you want to or not.

    I would suggest that you read my "So You Want To Be A Physicist" essay that should cover your questions here.

  10. Apr 5, 2010 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    It depends on where you go to graduate school. In the USA, one normally enters a physics Ph.D. program directly after finishing a bachelor's degree (BS or BA). In other countries the situation may be different.
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